Good customer service isn’t just for customers

Earlier this week I had an email telling me I hadn’t got a role I’d been interviewed for more than three weeks ago. They did have the grace to sound shame-faced about how long they’d taken to  confirm what I’d guessed more than a fortnight ago:  no-one who wants to work with you takes weeks to say so. Anyway I’d long moved onto something else – there’s no point brooding.

No one like me, I don’t care…

Coincidentally,  last week I  heard that an application to become a Trustee of a local charity had also been rejected.  This time they asked me to suggest a time to discuss my application so I would be more successful next time.  “Great idea”, I said. “Let’s talk.  Here are dates that are good for me, does any of this work for you?”  I’m still waiting for a reply and have the  sour feeling of having been palmed off with a rejection note  I probably wasn’t expected to reply to.

I’d have put these experiences down to the universe’s surprisingly common failure to appreciate my genius and moved on, had I not read this  about trainees applying for entry-level jobs without getting responses:

any professional marketer would be appalled if their brand, a brand whose reputation they will have carefully nurtured and be dedicated to protecting, treated customers and prospects in a similar way. Yet it seems OK to treat prospective talent in such a brand-damaging way.  And if it treats potential recruits like this, just how does it treat colleagues? And does the way it treats its people align with the customer experience it is seeking to deliver? And, more fundamentally, should those charged with responsibility for the brand, usually in marketing, take more responsibility for the employee experience?

By jingo he’s onto something, although the concept of caring enough about staff to extend good customer service to them would have been dismissed as mollycoddling in many organisations I’ve worked for. But it must be right, any point at which someone comes into contact with your company is an opportunity to win an advocate – or create a critic –  and that goes for existing and potential staff just as much as customers.

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