By Todd Murphy | October 1st, 2021
Sure, most companies work hard to please their clients. In the media monitoring and PR measurement industry, I personally feel like we have to work harder because our clients are, in turn, working hard for their stakeholders. To do this effectively, we make sure the news we capture is more comprehensive, our search results are more accurate, and our customer support is limitless. But is this enough?
Let’s talk about the people we have helping our clients. Without exception we work to hire the best people we can. Not only do we want great people working with our clients, that leads to better retention, but we want to associate with great colleagues. Like a team of any kind, who we have on our team makes the difference for our clients and our other team members. This point is also no great strategic revelation as most companies, probably all companies, work to hire the best people they can get. Maybe we should work harder to hire former clients (we will get to Mark in a second).
So what’s the big deal about hiring someone who has been a client of your company? Well, let’s count a few of the ways this matters.
- First, an employee that has used your services is already familiar with what you do, who you serve, and how your service works. This can greatly shorten the training time needed to bring a new hire up to speed.
- Second, a former client has probably experienced a problem or concern when using your service. This makes them better equiped to anticipate what questions or concerns existing clients might have.
- Third, hiring someone that has intimate knowledge of your deliverables can be instrumental when creating new services for your customers. Some companies let their software engineers lead their development, but we believe it is far more productive to let your clients direct your innovation. With a former client on board you have user knowledge and can better manage client-centric development.
Maybe every company should endeavor to hire former clients. To truly know your client’s needs and concerns, maybe you really do need to walk a mile in their shoes. Understanding the client perspective is an industry unto itself. Salesforce, Gong, and all the client relations tools have their place, but maybe you just need to hire a former client to get to the real gold.
Those who know me understand I have many opinions about our industry. This year I celebrated my 30th anniversary of creating innovative media montioring and PR measurement tools for our clients. I started working at Universal Information Services while in college and in that time I’ve racked up a reasonable amount of experience. This year I finally got to experience the value of hiring one of our clients. The wait was worth it!
Our subscribers have already been introduced to Mark Wiederin through an email blast I sent out a few weeks ago. But it occured to me that Mark represents more than our newest Client Concierge (what we call our client support representative). Mark represents our clients; he represents our prospective clients; he represents the clients our competitors currently have but may become ours. As a former client, Mark brings a value far beyond his salary… he brings experience doing what our clients do, and that is insight you can’t get from software tools.
Please leave your opinion on hiring clients, or anything related to hiring. The more we share, the better we all can serve our customers.