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The great thing about focus on customer loyalty is that you focus on long term relationships.

Linda Zomer, Start People

Customer feedback as input for continuous improvement

Start People is one of the biggest HR service providers in the Netherlands. It strives to add value during all phases of an individual's working life; when you are looking for your first job, when you are trying to find the right study for further development of if you need support to get back into the labor market. We talk to Linda Zomer, consultant process optimization and implementation: “It is our conviction that work brings value into everyone's life. Customer feedback tells us how we can support people even better and how we can increase that value.”

Start People used to conduct traditional satisfaction research in the past and changed to customer feedback and tracking the Net Promotor Score three years ago.


Continuous improvement
Linda: “We used to work with long questionnaires and an average score that was very difficult to 'move'. I was looking for something that would energize us, actually push us forward. Enthusiastic customers and employees are important pillars underneath our strategy, linked to a culture that strives for continuous improvement. The Net Promotor Score is a very good match. We measure loyalty and enthusiasm and use the feedback as input for the process of continuous improvement.” This active approach is very motivating, Linda explains: “Customer feedback has now become part of the day to day job for everyone. The feedback has come to life and our employees are much more aware of the impact of their behavior on the customer experience.” 

Triangular services
Employees of Start People have to deal with both paying customers and candidates. “That's what makes this company so much fun,” Linda tells enthusiastically “we are looking for the ideal connection between those two. Our services have a triangular character. NPS tells us about our employees, but also about the quality of the match we have made. Sometimes a candidate uses the open answer to mention items related to their experience with the company where we have placed them. In that case we jointly discuss what we can do with that feedback.” Because of this unique relationship, it is important that the analysis of data can be done along the same lines. “We do thousands of surveys and it is impossible to come to concrete insight by analyzing the all those open answers. The Root Cause Analysis is extremely helpful in that respect. On top of that, with the complex structure in our organisation in mind, we like to ask a couple of extra questions without the questionnaire becoming too long. CYS provided some smart, excellent solutions for this, by asking certain questions only a couple of times per year. This way we receive the information we need, but don't antagonize the respondents with long, boring questionnaires.”

Learning from each other
“Three years ago, the first NPS results were not very positive and that was quite a shock to us at first”, remembers Linda. “Especially because earlier satisfaction research mostly resulted in good average scores. But this is how it is, just satisfied is not good enough!” The new feedback program did also immediately provide us with very concrete items as to how we could improve our customer satisfaction: “It turned out, for instance, that candidates really appreciate it when we actively follow up after we have placed them in a job.  And our customers like us to help them more with our expertise and share our knowledge of the labor market.” Instead of making assumptions, we now react to concrete needs of both our customers and candidates. The results are immediately visible in the increasing NPS. Linda: “We share so called 'trend papers' with our customers and talk to them about how we can assist in the changes they are going through. And by keeping our feedback transparent, we learn from each other. Compliments are shared with the entire organization and we actively communicate about best practices. We had, for instance, one office with a very high NPS amongst candidates right from the start. As it turned out, they had developed an excellent work process for keeping in touch with candidates after they had been placed.” That work process was adopted by our other offices, which had a very positive impact on the NPS. “The great thing about focus on customer loyalty, is that you focus on long term relationships,” Linda concludes “and if you realize that we want to add value in every phase of someone's life that is an excellent match. The longer the relationship, the more value we can add.”

And the results are

Live up to expectations

NPS is a means to measure customer experience. When you understand this better, it becomes easier to live up to the expectations of your customers, without basing yourself on assumptions.



By sharing compliments and giving employees the opportunity to learn from each other, NPS does not just result in enthusiastic customers, but also in enthusiastic employees.


Add value

Of course you need to have all hygiene factors in place, but by making that extra effort on top of those, you create added value for your customers.


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