Touch Point One: Employees
If the best way to market is by referral, there’s no better endorsement than your staff. Think of it as free advertising, every time an employee gives a glowing account of their job. And as we’ve said before, happy workers lead to happy customers. It all adds up to one, inevitable conclusion: your employees might be the most important touch point in the provider/client transaction. Certainly, you can’t deny the role they play in shaping every aspect of the customer experience, both up front and behind the scenes.
That’s why we say: Be the best place to work. If you’re not sure what this looks like, we can’t give you a formula. One solution doesn’t fit every group. Besides, there’s only so much you can control. “Culture is what happens in your business when you’re not there,” says President Ken Hutcheson.
However, you do have control over choosing your team, and making sure their values fit yours. You can choose to hire the best, most dedicated workers. You can choose to hire people who will enjoy their jobs. You can choose to hire outstanding service providers who will be walking advertisements for your franchise.
Really, you can.
We know some of you’ve struggled to find applicants for open positions, particularly when it comes to crew labor. Unfortunately, the only problem isn’t the labor force. It also could be with your recruiting methods.
“Successful companies are always selling—not just to prospective clients, but prospective employees,” says Director of Brand Development Brandon Moxam. There are two important words in that statement: “selling,” and “always.”
Recruitment doesn’t mean driving up to a parking lot and collecting applications. It doesn’t mean keeping a “help wanted” sign on your door (or a button on your web page) and passively hoping the applicants will appear. Recruitment is a sales process, and it needs to be treated like one. You have opportunities, leads, and prospects; you have a database or “pipeline,” and a way to organize your candidate pool. You have an active program aimed at reaching out to qualified leads and making contact.
Here’s the second part: always. Are you hiring right now? Yes. It doesn’t matter if you have an actual position to fill. Great businesses never stop looking for talent. And when you do have a need, you’ll have the candidate pipeline ready. Recruiting is about scouting talent, and that is a constant process.
This week, U.S. Lawns unveiled a program that will help all franchisees, regardless of size, to maintain a recruiting pipeline. We hope this level of support will dramatically improve the quantity and caliber of your job applicants, and help you shape your teams into the top-rate service professionals you want them to be. Your employees are your number one customer touch point, whether they work directly with clients or in an operational role. They deserve to be happy, and you deserve to be successful.