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Customer Service... What Does It Mean To You?

Human resources and Talent Managementcustomer service

I recently moved house, supposedly ranked as one of life’s most stressful experiences; It certainly didn’t disappoint, stress became my new best friend.


I was confident it would be a breeze, I work in recruitment and thrive on stress, don’t I? Deadlines, checklists, process, problems, I should have had this moving malarkey covered and actually, I think I did or should I say, I thought I did.


What was it then that happened to make my experience so awful when it should have all been so effortless and pain free and do not get me started on my demolished garden wall? The answer lies in a seemingly old fashioned concept, outdated and over-rated apparently, either way I would have liked to have experienced it. Two words; customer service.

  • Please call me when you say you will
  • Please try and understand my situation
  • Please tell me the truth and manage my expectations


How familiar does this sound to anyone on the Job market, Recruiters, Clients and Candidates? Too many of the candidates I meet have a very similar story to tell about their own job search experiences, does working with HR Professionals mean that customer service expectations are higher? It’s a given that every candidate is a potential client and every client is a potential candidate whatever your sector or discipline... can we honestly say, given how busy we all are that we develop these relationships in the right way?


What do we need to do to ensure a positive customer service and go the extra mile?


Of course not everything is going to go right all of the time, you’re not going to please everyone and sometimes doing the right thing with the best of intentions can backfire in spectacular fashion after all, we’re only human. Going off on a tangent and on an ever so slightly tenuous link, that particular Utopia ceased to exist for me at a relatively young age after realising that taking responsibility for your own ironing is only a good thing if you don’t leave the iron face down on your parent’s bedroom carpet. I blame the Brownies “Iron a Hankerchief” Badge for building up my confidence and not managing my Mum’s expectations. See what I tried to do there?


It’s simple isn’t it? At least I think it is. Shouldn’t we just try and understand other people a little and adapt our style accordingly albeit easier said than done (I need to be the first on the training course). HR and Recruitment is a people business, without our people, where would we be? For those of us in Recruitment would that be selling the proverbial “pencil” instead of the person or drinking from a cup half full or half empty depending on how the mood takes?


Having worked in HR and being lucky enough to partner with a number of inspirational HR leaders, I’ve learned that how things are handled will not necessarily change the outcome of the interaction but will make the customer experience a whole lot better. Working in Recruitment we know that contemplating moving your job is a stressful experience (resisting the urge to take you back to house move stories) and sometimes we need to just stop for a minute and think; how would I feel if I was you, is this how I would like to be treated?


Relationships aren’t always formed on an immediate interaction and that doesn’t mean the service or experience was valued or pleasant, let’s face it, I moved house, it’s done. In this day and age, we’re all busy and time is at a premium therefore our customer experience is pivotal and you know what? It doesn’t take too much effort to ensure a positive reaction to a difficult situation.

Kerry Wykes
Posted by Kerry Wykes
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