One of the fundamental cornerstones of recruitment is the ability to forge long lasting, trusted relationships with clients. Every interaction with a client, without doubt, presents an opportunity to improve their experience and build on their continued loyalty.
This has never been more prevalent than in the current climate, where organisations are experiencing economic uncertainty while their future prosperity hangs in the balance. It is at times like this that businesses will want to turn to a trusted advisor to help them prepare for what the coming months and years have to offer.
Here, MERJE Co-founder and MD Ed Manson provides advice on how to build and maintain client loyalty.
Take the time to listen and communicate
The strongest client relationships are built around the art of communication. Start off by listening carefully to what your client’s requirements are so that you can understand how best to manage and meet them.
Ask questions to ensure that you have a clear outline of their goals, objectives, structure, company, the type of person they would like to recruit and who would be the best fit.
Once you’ve established a rapport with your client, keep the lines of communication flowing throughout every element of the hiring process so they can get a feel for your methodology while getting to know you better.
Getting the basics right, such as replying promptly to phone calls and emails, following up regularly and providing details about the process and timescales will help you to stand out.
Stay up-to-date with your industry
Being an expert in your field means keeping up-to-date with all of the latest developments in your market, sector or discipline. Going the extra mile here will enable you to provide the best advice to help achieve your client’s goals. One way is to set up a Google alert keywords relevant to their industry so you can see all the latest news at the earliest opportunity and refine your process accordingly.
If you develop a good reputation of truly understanding the nuances of your area of expertise, clients will gain confidence in your ability and come back to you when they need assistance with other roles.
Set realistic expectations
Be transparent about your processes from the start and what the timescales will look like so that your client isn’t disappointed further down the line. By this point it might be too late to find the ideal candidate or mend any broken bridges and this is when trust will be lost.
Once the timescales have been established, you won’t fall into the trap of over promising and under delivering. It’s then up to you to follow the age old rule of providing your clients with regular updates along every step of the process.
Offer a bespoke service
Your business is all about matching people to organisations and you should never lose sight of this. Taking a general, one-size-fits-all approach won’t inspire client confidence and it also won’t result in finding the best person for the role.
While you will have due processes to follow, you can still treat each client as an individual and provide them with a bespoke portfolio of services. You can achieve this by researching your client to gain a thorough understanding of what they are likely to want or need.
Again, ongoing lines of communication will make your clients feel well looked after so schedule regular calls to share updates.
Follow the business’s social channels and be the first to congratulate them if they share good news or comment if they publish an insightful article.
Become a trusted advisor
It can be all too easy to get swept away with a client’s wishes, even if this might mean they want to recruit a role which is unnecessary for their organisation. If you can recognise that there is a better recruitment option for their needs, or maybe they do not need to recruit at all right now, honesty is the best policy.
As the expert in your field, you should understand which structures need to be in place for a role to be beneficial, while delivering upon its objectives. Contradicting or pushing back on a client is a bold move, but sharing alternative options and encouraging a more reasoned approach which could work better for the business will result in increased respect for your judgement and a better partnership overall.
Create a lasting impression
A good client experience is essential for building trust and paving the way for long-term success. Focus on developing lasting relationships, rather than securing quick and easy wins. After all, retaining clients is a smarter way of working, particularly with the current ongoing economic instability.
High quality relationships which are built on trust will keep your clients coming back and it is this proven track record which will help your business to grow.
Be good on your word
If you promise you are going to do something, then make sure you do it. Following up on your actions demonstrates transparency and accountability and also ensures that you are reliable. You can build on this by continuing to manage expectations, agreeing on realistic goals and achieving them for your client.
Refer to your brand values
Adhering to your company’s values is key to ensuring that an outstanding service is delivered. At MERJE, we abide by our values at all times to provide a strong client experience.
Our values are:
Honesty & Integrity
Offer forward thinking advice
Once good relationships are established, you will be a trusted advisor to your client. Don’t make the mistake of waiting for them to come to you. It’s essential to offer ways in which they might improve their recruitment strategy so be proactive and come up with ideas and be sure to let them know. Fresh and efficient new ways of operating are particularly prevalent now more than ever and will be welcomed by your clients during this time.
Taking these steps will give your client the confidence they need to know that you truly understand their business and the challenges they face. It will also position you as their recruiter of choice when they want to improve, grow and expand.
To discuss your recruitment requirements in more detail, please get in touch with the MERJE team: firstname.lastname@example.org.