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12 April 2016

Customer loyalty is a major factor of your brand’s success. Gone are the days where companies can deliver the bare minimum and expect repeat business, as the diverse range of choice available is now broader than ever. It is therefore critical that companies fully understand the wants and needs of their customer base and the external perception of their brand within the market in order to remain competitive.

This is particularly evident for Ford & Stanley, as the demand for specialist recruitment services across the rail and engineering sectors has continued to grow. Leading employers are relying on recommendations or ‘word of mouth’ when selecting their recruitment partners or supply chain – with agencies directly competing to source and deliver the best talent. So as a consultancy, how do we differentiate ourselves to deliver an unrivalled level of service and enhance brand loyalty?


Customer experience is king

Customer 2Let’s face it, traditionally the recruitment industry doesn’t have the best reputation. Associated with hard sales techniques and a ‘spray and prey’ approach, employers are often reluctant to engage with agencies.

Ford & Stanley are proactively seeking to disassociate ourselves with these practices through the development of strategic relationships, delivery of service quality and transparency in our approach. But how do we measure our success?

In 2015 the company introduced Net Promoter Score (NPS) as one its key performance indicators. NPS focuses on brand loyalty and is a testament of the organisations relationships with their customers – whether this be at a candidate or client level.

NPS is calculated using the answer to a single question, on a 1 – 10 scale: “How likely are you to recommend Ford & Stanley based on your experience of working with us?” We also seek to understand the reasons why through obtaining qualitative comments as part of the feedback process. Respondents are then grouped into three categories (promoter, passive and detractor) with the 1 – 10 score used to calculate the percentage of customers who are likely to recommend your brand.

what_is_the_net_promoter_score (1)

According to a 2015 survey by Inavero, the average Net Promoter Score for the recruitment industry is around 50%. Ford & Stanley’s average score is 8.8 out of 10, with 61% of respondents categorised as promoters of the brand (NPS). This demonstrates strong relationships across the organisations candidate and client base.

 “The implementation of NPS has not only helped in understanding how Ford & Stanley are perceived within the market, but has opened additional lines of communication with our customer base,” said Ford & Stanley’s Customer Focus Manager, who is responsible for leading the programme. “By proactively retrieving feedback we’ve been able to identify gaps within our business processes and areas where we can really add value and tailor our service offering.”


Enhancing business processes

process-improvement copyAs a direct result of retrieving feedback without prejudicing the response, Ford & Stanley have received honest and constructive comments which we can use to improve our service offering.

This is most notable following the launch of Ford & Stanley’s Talentwise brand in September 2015. A gap in service was identified upon the supply of trade and technical workers into the rail industry – with new staff turning up on a Monday morning with no basic tooling, wearing overalls emblazoned with the name and logo of their previous employer. This was a reoccurring comment by some of our key clients which empowered Ford & Stanley to bridge this gap. Talentwise ensures that all workers are fully equipped from day one, providing railway approved tooling, professionally branded safety work wear and access to industry accredited training as part of the traditional provision of recruitment services.

“Talentwise is one of the fastest growing areas of the business and is already improving the experience of people coming to work in the rail industry,” said Chairman, Peter Schofield. “Had we not implemented our customer focus programme, we may have missed a major opportunity to really add value.”


Achieving competitive advantage

Ford & Stanley extends Net Promoter Score (NPS) as a value added service to its clients, surveying candidates based on their experience of the recruitment process. Our consultants were recently engaged to identify potential gaps within our client’s recruitment process, in order to understand why an increasing number of candidates were withdrawing following CV submission or at interview stage.

Over 50 candidates were surveyed spanning a recruitment period of six months, with an NPS of -31%. The supporting comments and qualitative feedback were critical in identifying areas for improvement, with timeliness a key contributory factor for candidate withdrawal. From investigating the feedback in more detail, it was clear that the time taken for the client to respond following interview was a primary reason for withdrawal, with 38% of candidates receiving alternative offers from competitors within this period.

Based on the findings of this survey, Ford & Stanley were able to present recommendations to improve internal communication, responsiveness in providing feedback, streamline business processes and ensure candidate engagement is at the forefront of the recruitment process.

“First impressions are everything,” said Sam Ford, Head of Key Accounts. “Our clients are finding the NPS service Ford & Stanley offer to be a valuable insight into how their brand is perceived by potential candidates and the impression that they create through the recruitment process. This information is being used to make our clients more competitive in what is currently a very skills short market.”


For further information on Net Promoter Score or any of our wider value added services, please contact Ford & Stanley on +44 (0) 1332 344 443 or get in touch with our Customer Focus Manager directly:

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