It’s common knowledge that getting the customer experience right is critical to business growth. So why do so many businesses still get it wrong? I recently had the opportunity to sit down with business expert and New York Times bestselling author Tim Sanders to talk about effective customer experience and customer relationship management strategies and how these apply to the staffing and recruiting industry.
The always insightful Sanders discussed how an ever-evolving business landscape calls for change — not just within the organization, but among managers themselves. He has been instumental in teaching me strategies necessary to drive organizational change, the ways to identify when change is needed and solutions for overcoming any challenges along the way. I’m thrilled to share some additional points that made me rethink my leadership style and how I conduct business.
An Interview with Tim Sanders:
Gilpin: In your best-selling novel, Love is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends, you teach your readers what it means to become a lovecat. How could staffing and recruiting firms benefit from practicing business the lovecat way?
Sanders: When I say that someone is a business lovecat, I mean that she is successful because she’s focused on growing relationships through giving. She creates success in other people’s lives, and they in turn bring incredible opportunities into hers. It’s a virtuous circle. Of course, this is easier said than done. For many, we believe that business is a dogeat- dog world, where few can really be trusted. For staffing and recruiting firms, the secret then is to focus on helping your end customers succeed – both at the enterprise and professional level.
If, for example, you mentor your clients on the market, the playing field and the industry, you will expand your relationship. This leads to loyalty, better information for future RFPs, forgiveness when things go wrong and a host of other business benefits.
In short, don’t just sell solutions, sell relationship driven solutions.
Gilpin: Your most recent book, Today We Are Rich: Harnessing the Power of Total Confidence, explains the importance of confidence on both a personal and professional level. Do you think these principles apply to professionals in an industry in which technology is used increasingly in place of human interaction?
Sanders: When you possess a confident business outlook, you’ll embrace new technologies and leverage them. If you are just ‘trying to get by’, you’ll hold on to legacy ways of doing things and fear anything that requires an investment of time or money. I’ve learned that confidence is the key to being innovative and current.
For many staffing and recruiting professionals, the last few years might have sucked the confidence out of you – dealing with customers that were more concerned with price than value (convenience, quality, speed). This might impact the quality of your relationships internally or with customers, where you’ve become transactional.
To move the conversation forward again (from problems to solutions) is to move the business forward again. The good news is that the recession is an equal opportunity fear machine – as bad as you have it, your competitors have it just the same. Whoever gets their ‘mojo’ back first is likely to be the disrupter not the disrupted.
Gilpin: What are a few of the main pieces of advice for indiviudals working within the staffing and recruiting industry?
- You must feed your mind good stuff. Reduce the Chicken Little talk. Increase your professional development and innovation research.
- Move the conversation forward. Focus on the solutions required by your customers and what your company can bring to bear on them.
- Invest in relationships. Program mentoring and networking into your ‘Customer Relationship Management’ approach.
- Measure business success beyond your balance sheet. Look at the difference you make for the customer’s business instead.
For more great advice from Tim Sanders, join our Staffing Leadership Webinar Series: Experience Matters led by Sanders, follow him on Twitter (@SandersSays) check out his blog at http://sanderssays.typepad.com/.
About Tim Sanders:
Tim Sanders is more than a keynote speaker; his real world experience, research savvy and deep understanding of the human condition make him an indispensable consultant to some of the biggest brands in the world. His Los Angeles based company, Deeper Media, conducts research on business trends, new media and human behavior.
As a bestselling author, leadership coach, and former Yahoo! executive, Tim Sanders is one of today’s most prominent advocates for building business success through sharing your knowledge, network, and compassion with your business partners. His most recent book, Today We Are Rich – Harnessing the Power of Total Confidence, shows how Sanders learned The Lovecat Way. His work is frequently featured in the media, most recently in The New York Times, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal and Fast Company.Related