Customer interview


London, United Kingdom
Professional Services

Delighted sat down with Alice Roper, Director of Engagement for Talentful, a recruitment and onboarding service for startups and other companies, about their customer-feedback program.

Alice, could you tell us what you do at Talentful and what the company’s business is?

Sure. I am Client Success Director now, but I’m moving to Director of Engagement soon. As for Talentful, we handle recruitment and onboarding as a service for startups and other companies.

Thanks. So what is your feeling about customer feedback and how important is it to the way Talentful conducts business?

It is the top priority for us. Traditional agencies charge commissions, but, here at Talentful, our employees are bonused on delivery and their NPS score, which basically determines the client’s satisfaction with them. If they’re on site with a client of six months to a year, every quarter they receive an NPS. If they get an eight or above, they get a bonus. For us, it’s very much about customer service, customer happiness and customer engagement.

Do you use the NPS score for the company as a whole as well as for individual clients?

Sure. At the moment, we have over 30 clients, and we might have a talent partner on site for a six-month project at each of those. They’ll be dealing with three hiring managers in tech, operations, and finance, but the champion is the head of HR. So, for this, an NPS will go out to all four of them every single quarter. We really keep tabs on, “Okay, is everyone happy?” Does that make sense?

Absolutely. So that’s 30 or so different NPS scores you deal with a quarter? Do you also do an NPS score for the overall company, as well?

No, it’s only for the live clients right now.

That’s interesting. Do you also get the verbatim feedback from them as well? Is that important to you?

Yes, very. From a client-success point, it’s amazing because you have another opportunity to go in there and strengthen the relationship. We need to be constantly closing the loop, acting on the customer feedback, so we can keep getting better. Particularly because we’re very people focused. We’re also sending out eNPSs to our guides because this is the magic. We need to make sure that they’re engaged and how they could do better. The NPS scoring idea is a great opportunity for us to actually understand where their head’s at.

We’ve also found that giving a single number is tricky for a lot of our clients. “Oh, I’d never give a nine or a ten,” they’d say. So they give an eight.

That’s quite interesting. Here, I think people are as happy to give fives as they would be nines, although I don’t know if anybody is 10-level satisfied anymore.

Funny that you say that because I think NPS is far more rare over here than it is in America. Some people just don’t understand it. They don’t understand categorically a nine or a 10 is promoted. But do you then go, “Okay, nine and 10 is a promoter, by the way. Seven and eight – but then, I’ve had a six from a client before. And I went back to her and I said, “Hey, in our eyes, that’s quite low. We really need to get an understanding of why you feel like that to see what we can do better and stuff.” And he said, “No, six is a passive.” I said, well not it’s really not.

That’s interesting. So how do you make sure that the NPS information is parceled out to the rest of the company so it’s not silo’d somewhere?

I manage all the managers who are managing talent partners. I think the data’s really important. so what I’ve done is segmented all my different properties, which has been really interesting. We can cut/slice the data by different types of customers to see if we can find common themes and trends that will inform us about how to improve our service. Then we can actually review it all once a quarter.

Then what do you do so it’s known about and acted upon?

It’s really easy to create a pile of it all and make reports. Then, every quarter, we have a sort of QBR, a big wrap up with the two founders and me and my colleague, Leah. It’s just a big presentation on what’s going on in the company.

And it’s really making sure that we’re using feedback and the talent partners are also asking constantly, “Have you got any feedback? Is there anything else I can be doing better?” And if they’re doing that, theoretically, they should prove it and know what their NPS will be. And, likewise, the same thing happens if we don’t receive the client’s NPS, then there’s a massive breakdown because that client has been told at a kickoff meeting, “This is what you’ll be getting sent. This is really important for your talent partner.” We need to understand why that champion, hiring manager, whoever, is not filling out the simple NPS with the click of a button.

It seems that customer feedback and customer satisfaction is in the company’s DNA. What advice would you have, based on what you’ve learned, for those interested in adopting NPS? What have you learned about the NPS customer-feedback loop?

I say follow up with everyone. I didn’t think I was quick enough when I got my first ever detractor – I wasn’t quick enough to jump on it. Everyone is a human being who might just be having a rubbish day. I think it’s about going back and making sure that everyone’s been heard, whether it’s just a number or a number and a slight comment of how lovely it is to work with you. And just be completely transparent with them. I think we’re, specifically, we’re Delighted. Or is that going to be too much? Can I brag about Delighted a bit here? anyway?

Sure. We’ll allow that.

I think Sean has been amazing. Even when I’ve had the most daft questions, he’s always given me data to back up actually why I wasn’t daft, which makes me feel great. I think also the data that’s going to come from different types will be really interesting to see.

You can use it tactically at the time and then strategically, over the course of time?

Yes, totally. I think because it’s so easy to give the click of a button. It comes through immediately. But, you know, there are different types of personalities. Some will say, “Everything’s fine,” to your face, and then, behind your back, they’re, “No, I would never use you again. I just don’t have the kind of guts to actually say that to your face.” Using NPS is a great way for someone to be quite real and always have that barrier where they don’t need to come face to face – until I call them, that is.

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