Posts tagged joe blogs
Posts tagged joe blogs
Small Business Saturday is tomorrow. And while 93% of consumers believe that it’s important to support local businesses in their neighborhoods, it can be hard to turn those believers into repeat customers. They may have the best intentions at heart (note that stat’s use of “believe”), but there are always options that are cheaper and sometimes more convenient that are generally found in bigger chains. Some SMBs think it’s hard to compete, but it really comes down to delight and customer experience. Sense a pattern in this blog? Here are three small businesses (Milk Street Cafe in Boston, MA, Office Supply Co. in El Centro, CA and Chicago Music Exchange in Chicago, IL) that are using what they have to win big:
As an employee and supporter of small business, I believe this Saturday provides a great opportunity for people to see what kind of experience small businesses can provide, but it’s that extra that’ll keep the customers coming back. The examples above only skim the surface of what is possible. If you are interested in more tips or examples, send me a vsnap. Now get ready for that rush of business and deliver delight!
There’s a growing movement of companies that view a maniacal focus on the customer as the path to fast, enduring growth. Look at companies like Zappos, Apple, and Amazon that have led the way. Zappos gets 75% of sales from repeat customers. Apple’s secret training manual has “Approach customers with a personalized, warm welcome” as the very first thing an employee must do. Amazon’s Net Promoter Score is 76, one of the highest in the US, because of their world class customer service. Recruiters need to think about candidates the same way that these killer companies think about their customers. Here are three simple reasons:
Candidates are empowered
The Internet has given all of us the ability to learn about anyone, anywhere, at anytime. That can help you or hurt you, depending on how you do business. Treat candidates like gold, and the word will get around. (Just ask them for LinkedIn recommendations when you complete a placement). Treat them like pawns in your chess game, and you can expect two things: fewer responses and fewer referrals.
The best are in demand
Yes, it’s easy to contact a passive candidate, but it’s easy for your competitor to contact them as well. The secret of Zappos-like results is really not so secret. CEO Tony Hsieh shouts it out every chance he gets: create WOW! That’s Hsieh’s lingo for “Make the customer feel special!” Consider how you can make that your standard when you reach out to candidates. Otherwise you will just be more noise in their inbox. Make them feel special by engaging them in a way that feels more personal, and you can keep candidates engaged with you, rather than your competition.
Feelings drive decisions.
One of our five core values at Vsnap is “only help.” I want you to recall this feeling: you’re browsing at some mid-market department store, perfectly content to poke around, and out of the corner of your eye you see the salesperson approaching. Do you feel your defenses going up? That slight sense of annoyance rising in your chest? Now imagine it’s the Apple store. You’re greeted right when you walk in the door. The associate is helpful and warm, and the conversation is about your needs, not theirs. It feels different, and that matters. In other words, feelings are not just squishy stuff. Feelings drive decisions. And feelings stay with us. People may well forget what you said, but they will almost certainly remember how you made them feel. Keep this in mind when you’re engaging new candidates and you’ll find that high quality passive candidates will gravitate to you. Because the better the talent, the more they need a great helper. They’re too busy in their current roles to be browsing the racks, and they can’t be seen out shopping. An Apple Store attitude is what they need – someone pleasant, trustworthy and knowledgeable who is looking out for them.
What’s really exciting is the opportunity to pair this customer-centric perspective with new tools and technologies. This is the Amazon story: being on the leading edge technology-wise, but never ever forgetting that the customer comes first. For recruiters who want to keep the connection between new tools and old wisdom you may want to attend Talent-Focused Innovation, a live discussion happening in Boston this Friday, October 5th. The panel will feature recruiting rock stars like Meghan M. Biro, Art Papas of Bullhorn, and Eileen Habelow of Randstad, and it’ll be moderated by US Senator Scott Brown. If you’re in the Boston area, you’re welcome to register at this link – and please say hi at the event. If you’re not local, then you can join us live by following the #TalentInno and #TChat hashtags.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this topic. Join the #TalentInno conversation on Twitter, comment below, or email me.
Increasingly, we are hearing from recruiters who are using Vsnap to bring a personal layer back to what is ultimately a people business. Since Vsnap easily bolts onto platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter, it offers both a personal touch and massive reach, as well as ease of use for both sender and recipient.
In fact, given the uptick in Vsnap usage by recruiters, we’re now introducing a free weekly webinar to share all of our knowledge of tips and tricks, as well as more nuanced insights, on how talent acquisition professionals can use Vsnap to create major impact in their business. You can sign up here.
This post offers background for recruiters who aren’t already using Vsnap, or who don’t know what it is.
In short, Vsnap offers simple web and mobile applications that make it easy to record, send and measure short video messages with attachments. The benefit is that recipients take action about 40% more than email recipients. This is because (as we all know) a personal touch matters to people, and because video captures tone, emotion and sincerity in a way that text cannot.
Here are seven benefits for recruiters that are using Vsnap to engage candidates and clients, both before and after filling a job placement.
1. Increase response rates from passive candidates
Send a vsnap rather than a text-based message when you reach out to passive candidates. The personal layer differentiates you and builds trust, which brings them into your hiring funnel at a higher rate.
Given all this recruiter activity, we have juggled our development roadmap and will soon integrate with LinkedIn’s API to allow you to send a vsnap notification in a LinkedIn message. In the meantime, some recruiters tell us they are recording a vsnap to a candidate, then sending it to themselves. They then copy that url where the vsnap is hosted and make it into a bitly link. When they write an InMail or a LinkedIn message to the candidate they want to engage, they just paste the bitly link there along with a short text greeting. “Hi Tom, I thought you might know someone who’s right for this opportunity. I recorded a 60 second video message for you with more details.”
Note, Bitly.com tracks the visits to that link, so you can easily see whether your candidate viewed your vsnap. That’s practical in terms of figuring out what your next touch should be.
2. Increase the eyeballs on your opportunity
Invite your passive candidate to share your vsnap with others in his or her network. Most people like to bring opportunities to friends as long as they feel the opportunities are high quality and come from good people. Seeing the recruiter in the video message increases the sense of transparency and trust, and therefore increases recirculation.
3. Decrease wasted interview time for the client
Invite interested candidates to send a vsnap that you can forward to the hiring manager. Two tips here to make these messages focused and valuable. (1) Give them a specific question to answer so they don’t just ramble generically, and (2) have them attach a link to their LinkedIn profile.
Bonus: these candidate vsnaps will remain in your Vsnap.com feed, so if the candidate is not a fit for the current opportunity, it’ll be easy for you revisit and re-use these messages for future opportunities. There’s no better way to refresh your memory about a candidate than to watch a short video message.
4. Keep recommended candidates warm
When the decision-makers at the client company are unsure or just hard to get focused, and you need to keep one or more candidates engaged and invested in the process, send them short vsnaps every couple of days just as personal status updates. Again, you want them to feel that there is transparency in the process. Nothing says transparency like seeing the face of the person send me a message.
5. Close top candidates faster
If you need more firepower to close a candidate, just ask HR to have one of the key team members at the client company record a quick vsnap letting the candidate know how important they are to the company’s success. If you’re trying to land a bright young engineer, consider how it will feel to him or her to receive a personal video message from the CTO or VP Engineering. Pretty special. (That’s one of Vsnap’s five core values: make people feel special.)
6. Grow business by vsnapping your clients in between assignments
Vsnap is a great tool to personalize any sales dialogue, especially when it’s an extended dialogue and you need ways to stay on the client’s radar and keep them engaged. So some recruiters with their biz dev hats on are sending vsnaps to clients they’ve worked with before. This works best when you attach something of value, such as a relevant blog post. For the client it’s like the video version of a handwritten note. It’s thoughtful and personal and let’s them know you’re thinking of them. And now they’re thinking of you.
Remember when you share vsnaps via email (through the “Share” page on our apps or Vsnap.com), you can always see whether your recipients watched the message and whether they clicked on any pdfs or links you attached.
7. Create buzz about your services with Vsnap + Twitter
When a candidate accepts a new position, that’s a moment of high emotion. There’s happiness, anxiety, pride, achievement – and more. A vsnap is the rarest of messages: an electronic communication that actually can capture and convey emotion. So use it after a candidate makes his new role public to send a heartfelt congratulations to your candidate (use your discretion). In this case, share it via Twitter. This way your candidate receives the message away from the madness of his email inbox, and other people in his network will also see that you’re a person who cares enough to send a personal message even after the client’s check has cleared the bank. A great time to send this vsnap is the candidate’s first day on the new job.
Pro Tip: Use Vsnap’s Twitter share to send a personal “thank you for your business” message to the client. Don’t expect high views on these messages because Twitter is a moving stream. Vsnap shows you these view counts when you share via Twitter, and somewhere between 20 and 100 is typical. But in most cases these are from people who are highly similar to your client, so they often need similar recruiting services themselves.
BONUS: Free Wednesday Webinar
Last week, I went to Washington DC to attend an event for professional recruiters. It was hosted by LinkedIn, and it was basically a sales briefing on the new tools they’re introducing to help growing companies find, engage and track job candidates. I thought I’d share a few takeaways for business people who have hiring on their minds.
LinkedIn Network: Size & Composition
At the conference I learned LinkedIn has about 175 million members. About 20% of them are actively looking for a new job, but the other 80% are what recruiters call passive candidates. They are not overtly looking for a job, but many of them will consider the right opportunity if it presents itself to them. These are typically the best candidates, and you need to figure out how to differentiate your outreach. The Vsnap perspective on that is simple: make it more personal and you’ll see an increase in responses. Make that prospect feel special, rather than making him or her feel like she is wearing a nametag that says Candidate #173-a. The differentiating nature of a personal touch is especially significant in hiring, since this is the people side of the business.
According to the presenters, 85% of US companies say they will use social networks for recruiting this year. Obviously this means that job seekers, active and passive, should keep all of their information current. But it also means that companies should keep their social networking profiles active and fresh.
Dial Down The Noise
We’ve all experienced the difficulty of keeping up with all the activity in our online social networks. Companies should be sensitive to this and avoid adding chatter that doesn’t add value. Empty noise is the surest way to make those fantastic-but-passive candidates disengage. Especially the really sought-after ones. Remember, they’re actually invested in their current jobs. The last thing they want to do is waste time online uncluttering their messages. So while online social networks let you reach tons of people easily, your actual interactions with them need to be high-quality if you want to hook them into really considering your company.
Think Outside The (email) Inbox
Our email inboxes are cluttered with emails of all types. Part of the value of reaching prospective candidates via social media is that your message finds them in a place where they don’t have 50 unread emails. LinkedIn is good for this, and so is Twitter, where @ mentions are easy for the recipient to scan and act on. (This is one reason why sharing non-private vsnaps via Twitter is so effective, and we expect the same to be true once we integrate Vsnap with LinkedIn next month).
LinkedIn is leading the way in making it easy for growing companies to access high-quality hires, but businesses that are mindful of these best practices will make the most of this resource – and they’ll build brand awareness and word-of-mouth even beyond the candidates they engage directly. At Vsnap, we think this is super important, and we want to learn from you — so I’d love if you use the comment section to tell us your top tips on using social media to access job candidates. Feel free to put a link back to your Twitter handle or LinkedIn profile!
Given how noisy today’s business environment is, I thought it might be interesting to share some insights from someone whose professional success is based almost entirely on his ability to penetrate the noise and activate his relationships. Bill Delaney, of Cassidy Turley, is one of several corporate real estate professionals among Vsnap’s early adopters. Bill has found that using Vsnap to engage his prospects creates delight and, most importantly, action.
Q: Give me an example of where you have used Vsnap?
A: I use Vsnap to follow up after an initial meetings with a prospective client. It’s a great tool to thank my contact for the opportunity to meet and to reiterate some of the significant points of our conversation.
Q: Where is Vsnap going to be a high impact tool in your business?
A: The industry I work in is relationship driven. Maintaining frequent contact with your prospects and clients is incredibly important. Vsnap will allow me to add a personal touch on each message I send. Not to mention I’ll have the benefit of understanding whether the recipient even viewed my message.
Q: Where is Vsnap going to be a high impact tool in businesses around the world?
A: I think Vsnap will be a highly useful tool from a sales perspective. When selling a product or services you’re trying to gain an edge on the competition and making sure what you’re selling is as relevant to the prospect as possible. Vsnap allows your message to be delivered in a manner that can’t be achieved through written email.
Q: What advice would you give business users when using Vsnap?
A: Don’t shy away from using Vsnap to deliver any type of message. It doesn’t need to be tied to any business deal. A simple vsnap to either touch base with a client/prospect or even wishing someone happy birthday could go a long way in enhancing that relationship.
Here at Vsnap, we have come to realize that we are contrarians within the video messaging space because we built a tool for people to use in ways that are generally more personal than broadcast. We did this because we ourselves struggle with all the noise. We did this because we ourselves want to connect with our partners and our prospects at a deeper level than either email or public/social tends to achieve. The level where real collaboration happens, where real goals are articulated, and accomplished.
This is why Bill’s answers to these questions are so gratifying for us. The way he’s using Vsnap, and the results he’s getting from that use, really express and promote the values that Vsnap embodies. It’s an affirmation of the idea that a personal touch matters in business, and that people want to feel special. If you want to know more about Vsnap’s values, you can read this post. If you want to know more about how to create the kind of results that Bill is getting, I’d be happy to send you some simple tips. Just send me a vsnap: firstname.lastname@example.org