If you work in consulting like myself, you’ll know that your customers are your clients. All the recent talk around new age UX and CX has got me thinking about what the ideal CX, or ‘client experience’, should be.
At its core, any great relationship is about a mutual exchange of value. For example: a client has a hiring need. A client then accurately and simply explains this hiring need, by way of a brief, and a consultancy provides a candidate that meets that brief and fills the need.
Sounds easy enough, right?
As easy as it sounds, such mutually beneficial and valuable relationships can be hard to come by. Whether the brief is too short or too complex and doesn’t comprehensively explain the need, or whether the client doesn’t really know what they’re looking for yet and is just using the interview process as a way of figuring that out, there are a million and one things that can go wrong.
Relationships take time
Now, you can’t expect a great relationship from the get-go; relationships take time. That’s what makes them worthwhile. Imagine asking someone out and them deciding to marry you the next day – doesn’t seem like a realistic timeframe, does it?
Same goes for contacting a client once and then expecting them to be the perfect, committed, ‘all-about-you’ partner the very next day.
But once you have got to a stage where both parties can see the mutual value provided, and you understand each other well enough to know when, how and why to call, that’s where the sweet spot is. Once you have a partnership that values you, provides timely feedback, and accurately represents their needs, that is when you know that both sides are going to get the best outcome possible.
Building your employer brand
An additional benefit that comes with establishing a longer-term partnership, is that consultancy’s ability to become a brand advocate is vastly improved. As a consultancy, we act as an extension of your business, which means we are your ally, your brand advocate, your number one fan. We are out there every day representing your employer brand to the market; talking about your business and all that you offer as an employer, and discussing your goals with your prospective employees; the candidates. If these are represented incorrectly in the initial brief, then the flow-on effects can be lethal – a game of ‘Chinese Whispers’ is not what we want – even back in Grade 6 when it was popular, it wasn’t that great!
Candidates = customers
Your consultancy acts as the conduit between how your brand is represented in the market, so the way a client treats their consultancy speaks volumes about them as a business, and demonstrates to candidates how your brand values relationships and how they in turn may be treated. Just remember – candidates are customers! You need to provide timely feedback and a great experience for them as part of the interview process just as much as you do with the actual service or product your organisation sells them.
Time is of the essence
And lastly, but importantly, time stands still for no one: candidates get snapped up if you take too long! Even in COVID times. If there’s no Dairy Milk Chocolate at Coles, you would just get it from Woolies. Equally, if you don’t provide feedback or move your process quickly and effectively enough, your top candidate prospects will more than likely get a job with your competitor. We’re all busy, but feedback isn’t that hard to give, and will be super helpful for them in the long run, as well as for your brand!
So let’s all try and put a greater focus on our CX, and remember, we want our clients to feel just as valued as we do!
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