Client Management Techniques for Staffing Agencies
April 19, 2022
With more than 25,000 staffing agencies in the U.S., individual agencies often struggle to stand out among such intense competition. However, with an unprecedented spike in demand for workers, employers are increasingly looking to staffing agencies to fill widespread vacancies.
But how exactly can you set yourself apart to attract and retain clients? It all starts with properly and efficiently managing your arsenal of clients—first bringing them in, then streamlining operations and ensuring their satisfaction.
In essence, client management starts by acknowledging your current capacity, working to attract the ideal kinds of clients and workers, and then keeping them. The goal here is to make daily operations smooth without becoming overwhelmed.
Create a smooth on-boarding process
Great client relationships start from day one, with a smooth and effective onboarding process. After you’ve landed a client, the on-boarding process will be their first experience working with your agency, so it’s crucial here to make a good first impression. Ask yourself, how exactly will you integrate their business into your agency?
First and foremost, effective communication is key. It’s vital to sit down with the client and have an extensive conversation about who they are, what their requirements are for vacant roles, and what their ideal qualities in a potential employee would be. This might sound obvious, but with staffing agencies increasingly stretched thin at the moment, fewer companies are taking the time to really get to know a client.
Once you understand their needs and requests, it’s time to integrate their organization into your system platform, which can largely be managed with external software.
Employ time and attendance software
Juggling a web of clients can often be a headache, but it doesn’t have to be. A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can streamline and automate these otherwise painstaking processes, from monitoring hours worked to issuing timely and accurate invoices.
CRM is a tool to facilitate digital communications with clients and to monitor information exchange. With fully integrated CRM software for staffing agencies, you can monitor current job openings, know who is working on current assignments, and identify workers available for new assignments.
Furthermore, time and attendance software can resolve the issue of tracking employees across multiple roles with different pay grades. Day workers may now often work four, five or even six jobs for a single company, and trying to calculate their hours under different pay grades often leads to wage disputes and unsatisfied clients. You can avoid this with automated software that logs hours worked across assignments. All employees have to do is log into a mobile application and select the assignment.
Maintain regular communication
After you’ve been working with clients for some time, it’s easy to become lax on regular communications and meetings, as you may assume you know them and the workings of their organizations by now.
Letting up on regular communication is a big mistake; an organization is ever evolving, and you need to keep pace with their new requirements, closely following their updates and developments. It’s best to even anticipate their new needs before they tell you and adapt the workforce you provide them with accordingly.
It’s crucial that you maintain regular communication with clients, ensuring that you speak to them directly once a week. You can facilitate this by identifying their preferred communication platforms—be it MS Teams, Slack, Google Chat, etc.— and maintaining a regular presence there to field any questions or inquiries.
Ensure appropriate resource management
Appropriate account management means being able to juggle your workload and ensure each client and account can receive adequate time and attention. Remember that while you want clients to choose your agency, it’s also essential to remember that you’re actively choosing them too. Instead of contracting your services out to everyone interested, it’s better to be selective to develop a more manageable workload.
When an agency is juggling too many clients with diverse needs, operations can go a bit haywire: incorrect or delayed paychecks, mismatches between workers and assignments, or a reliance on undependable workers who often miss shifts.
When you have a manageable workload, it’s easier to gather and share informative results on a client by client basis. Unfortunately, many agencies get into the habit of sending reports chock full of useless information, rather than considering what data is of the most use to clients. After all, this approach is easier and requires less attention to send everything over, even extraneous details. When you can dedicate more time to each account, you can work with each client to identify what data is most useful to them and then share accordingly.
Gather client feedback
The most essential client management strategy is demonstrating a willingness to adapt and respond to issues. Therefore, always ask your clients for authentic feedback. Remember that constructive criticism can be just as useful as positive feedback—if not more so. The only way to improve your business is by knowing what works and what doesn’t.
By receiving your clients’ honest opinions, this will nurture stronger relationships and build trust down the road. After all, effective client management starts by truly understanding their needs and then delivering results.