Thinking about hiring some new customer support staff? It's a good idea; even with business a bit shaky, having the right customer support people helps ensure that the customers already in the fold remain there, and in turn, ensures cash flow. When looking for cash flow insurance—er, customer support staff—there is one important points to keep in mind to help make sure the hiring company gets the best for its effort. Yes, just one.
That point is: keep in mind that any job applicant leads a double life as a potential, or maybe even current, customer. Those who treat an applicant unprofessionally risk losing a customer as well; many seek employment with places that they frequent or are familiar with. Worse, if a competitor hires these people away, companies now face a competing force that knows current methods and products and may be able to work against them.
When a business knows that the job applicant in the waiting room is also a customer, there's less inclination to treat that applicant shabbily. Not every business does this, of course, but for those who might be tempted to say “let him / her wait; I've got important things to do!”, there's a whole new reason to not do it.
Most of us who have applied for jobs at one point or another are familiar with at least one business that doesn't seem to care about the people who apply for work; no responses following an interview, telephone calls and emails that go unreturned, interview appointments canceled at the last minute, possibly even while the interviewee is waiting in the lobby.
Essentially, the key takeaway here is that one should always treat a job applicant in the same way one would treat a potential customer. Mostly because that job applicant is a potential customer, or may even know potential customers. This is true even for businesses that work on a business-to-business (B2B) level; that job applicant may well have a rich uncle who has purchasing authority at a major business.
Remember one of the oldest rules of customer service: negative experiences with a company are more widely spoken of than positive ones. This includes job applicants. Don't worry about those who don't get hired; just worry about those who weren't shown basic human courtesy in the application process. Some may take the extreme step of taking complaints to social media, and no one wants that coming up in search results about a company. An anonymous Glassdoor review, for example, might well scuttle a company's ability to hire down the line, or even worse.
It's just a matter of good common business sense. Treat people the way you want to be treated, and that good treatment will come back to thank you later on. Those who fail to keep this one simple point in mind may well fail on many other points down the line.
Edited by Maurice Nagle