So, you have great clients and consultants. But, do they feel the same about you? We all spend our time building up our client bases, getting deep and wide with our clients, building our database with candidates, qualifying those candidates into great consultants, and placing them with our clients. But, how are we really doing? We think that we’re doing well, but what do our clients and candidates have to say? Today, let’s talk about building satisfaction studies for our staffing firm that delivers clear and tangible data to drive future and continuing success.

Why do satisfaction studies?
The biggest and easiest way to answer this question is looking at the fact that most people use their gut to determine how things are going. When speaking to various staffing firms, we hear the statement, “our clients and consultants love us”. However, when asked how testimonials, case studies, and referrals are coming along, the room becomes quiet. Satisfaction studies allow you to move past your gut feeling and into the real world of data.

When satisfaction studies are done properly, you should walk away with clear and actionable data that you can either promote on your RFP, website, and/or collateral, or you take action in areas of weakness in order to do better for the future. It also allows you to correct things you are unaware of. Satisfaction studies give you the data to make true and educated decisions about how to guide your business.
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What goes into a satisfaction study?
Something to always remember is to keep your satisfaction studies simple. They should not be 10-15 questions or multiple pages long. They are designed for someone to easily give you feedback on how you’re doing. Be sure to include a scale of one to ten and be clear when labeling if one (1) is very good or bad, and then making ten (10) the opposite. The questions should be very simple. For example, how satisfied are you with our consultants? A follow-on question to this is, how satisfied are you with our account management? Another great question to ask is, when did you last hear from your account manager? All of these are done through a variety of answer sources and through either a Survey Monkey tool, a plug-in to your website, or simply by email if it’s small enough. One benefit to using the technology for your survey is that it aggregates the data, writes the data for you, and it gives you a clear vision on the output. Be sure to include open-field forms for respondents to answer additional information. For example, when asking, “how are our consultants doing?”, you may have multiple consultants and the user is rating them as a whole. On a scale of one to ten, they could answer 7, meaning maybe one of your consultants isn’t doing great. Placing an open-field form under questions such as this gives the opportunity to be more specific and it gives you more accurate data.

On the consultant side, the questions are, quite literally, the opposite. For instance, “how satisfied are you with your current engagement?” Place a scale of one to ten and an open-field form so they can tell you. Secondly, ask how satisfied they are with their account manager. Third, ask when was the last time they heard from their account manager and/or recruiter. One last question that you should always ask is, is there anyone you know that we should be working with? Please do not forget that your satisfaction studies are still an opportunity to do business.

How often you should do satisfaction studies?
Every firm is different based on how much ongoing communication they have with their clients and consultants. A good rule of thumb is conducting satisfaction studies a minimum of twice a year. However, we recommend four times a year as a standard practice. As everyone reading this article knows, things change in our clients and consultants lives very quickly. Technology is evolving, business is changing, executives are coming in and leaving. Change is everywhere. Being able to keep your information up-to-date ensures that you keep your consultants on assignment, you keep your clients happy and growing, and that you have the visibility into things that were previously anecdotal.

Many clients tell us that they don’t really need to do a satisfaction study because their account executives, account managers, and recruiters report to them commonly about how things are going. However, that is not coming directly from the client or the consultant. It also doesn’t go into detail about how satisfied or happy they are. If you make your satisfaction study easy, understandable, and dynamic, then your audience, at a rate of 25%-35% or greater, should be responding to you and giving you information that guides your business. Subsequently, the more often you do it without bothering people, the better you perform.

One footnote is that in the case of VMS / MSP, you may be thinking that you’re not allowed manager contact or that they will get upset with you. Be sure to include them in your discussions of doing the satisfaction study. Most of the VMS / MSPs are completely fine with you conducting satisfaction studies that are direct to managers that you’re working with. But always check to be sure.

What should you do with the information from satisfaction studies?
Like we said a moment ago, being able to look at your data and decipher what is being said allows you to take action. For example, if you are perfect across the board on your responses, then that data is information you should be touting to the high heavens. It should be on your website, social media, data sheets, sales support material, and even your PowerPoint decks. When using this data, be sure to not let it get stale and to reference how many times this has previously happened. Show the previous quarter or the previous execution to show improvement and decline. It’s okay if you decline, as long as you don’t go into bad numbers. 92% approval is just as good as 87% approval, but certainly 92% is better. On the negative side, if you are seeing individual information that tells you a particular manager or consultant is not happy, you now have an actionable opportunity of following up with them and to try to resolve the issue. Overall, bad scores make us all feel bad, but in reality, they give us the greatest opportunity to bestow our integrity and respect. In all cases, the data is an opportunity to promote your brand and drive success across the entire enterprise.

Are you satisfied in your staffing firm? Even more so, are your clients and consultants satisfied? Is the feeling mutual? It’s time to find out for sure, and the use of satisfaction studies will give you those answers. If your staffing firm needs help with satisfaction studies, feel free to reach out. Good luck.
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About S.J.Hemley Marketing
S.J.Hemley Marketing is a marketing and sales consulting firm focused on driving tangible results for professional services firms. Brand matters, but not without ROI. With over 20 years of sales and marketing experience within staffing and recruiting, we have helped to drive successful branding, sales training, lead generation activities as well as defining marketing strategy for top organizations.