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How to Best Apply Customer Service When Interfacing with Clients and Candidates

Recently, my husband and I purchased a treadmill from a major retailer. Everything went great at the time of sale. The sales person was friendly, knowledgeable about the products and the transaction went smoothly. We were told that we would receive a call from their delivery department the next day, which was a Monday, to schedule a delivery time. We did receive that call on Monday telling us that our delivery window was from 3pm to 5pm the following day, so we arranged our schedule to be home during that time.

The delivery window came and went with no treadmill delivered, so I called customer service to find out what happened with our delivery. I was told we were still on the docket for that evening, and I would receive a call with an estimated delivery time within 5 to 10 minutes. When no call came through, I called customer service again, and received the same response. Again, no phone call. I called every hour on the half hour to get an update; each time I was given the same response, and no follow up call came.

Finally, at 9 p.m., the driver called to say they wouldn’t be making the delivery that day and someone from the warehouse would be calling within a few minutes to re-schedule our delivery. That call did come, with the representative beginning by asking me why I had to reschedule the delivery! After I explained the events of that evening 3 times, the representative finally ended the call by saying someone would call back at 9 a.m. the next morning to reschedule the delivery.

Nine a.m. the next morning came and went. We received no phone call. My husband called and eventually spoke with a supervisor in the warehouse, who apologized profusely, explaining that they had a new crew and their trainer was on vacation. He arranged a delivery time for the next day, which was met and our treadmill was delivered.

This experience made me think about customer service and communication, and how both apply to how we interface with clients and candidates.

  • Setting reasonable expectations: The store, knowing their crew was new and their supervisor would be out, could have set a longer delivery time frame. We would have been okay with receiving our treadmill a few days later. The same goes for our roles as recruiters and sourcers. When making promises to your clients and candidates, it is important to consider your bandwidth and past experience in similar situations to set deadlines and to ensure you are able to deliver on your promise.
  • Following up and “doing what you say”: One phone call or email from the store would have alleviated the whole situation. Keeping in contact with your clients and candidates is imperative. They may not necessarily like what you have to say, but they will be pleased that you communicated with them. And if you make a promise to update your customer in a given time frame, make sure you keep that promise. Your credibility and relationship with that individual can be ruined by one instance of not keeping your promise.
  • Listening: Each time I called customer service, I had to repeat my story over and over, which lead to more frustration. Keep detailed records of your conversations with your candidates and clients, so you can pick up where you last left off. Doing so will let them know they are important to you and enhance their recruitment experience.

The end result is that we received our treadmill, and we are happy with the product. But a lot of frustration could have been avoided by the store following some communication and customer service basics. So, follow the tips above to keep your clients and customers happy!


This post was written by June Layng. June is a Recruiting Team Lead with Yoh, and has over 20 years of experience in recruiting and operations. June holds a B.A. in Business Management from Pace University. She resides in Albany, NY.

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