In response to the introduction of the new Workforce Australia model, employment services providers must make their customer and channel marketing ‘roar’ in 2022 – the Year of the Tiger.
This article is part of a series of Prospert insights to kick off strategic planning for the newly named Workforce Australia. A key feature of this new model is that customers can choose their preferred employment services provider.
There’s no doubt that certain providers have already stepped up their marketing efforts with campaigns to capture customers who are considering changing providers, entering the market for the first time, or disgruntled with their current service. Channels such as secondary schools, TAFEs and community services organisations are another important element in the marketing mix.
Just like the Tiger, your marketing must be vigorous, ambitious and brave. Prospert’s list of powerful marketing tips will keep your service top of mind for prospective customers, influencing their choice of provider.
1.Build a positive word of mouth
Word of mouth is the most valuable form of marketing, with customers trusting this channel of communication above all others. But you can’t simply sit back and hope that customers will say positive things about your service.
The best thing about building word of mouth is it’s relatively inexpensive, but it does rely on your customers having a positive experience with your service. After your initial engagement, a simple test is to ask for a service rating out of ten. A nine or a ten allows you to ask for a referral to their friends, family or broader community. Even better, encourage your customers to bring a friend or family member to their first appointment as support. They may have a similar need you can service.
2. Improve customer experience
In the employment services market, the customer’s experience includes all interactions with your service from navigating your website, to engaging with your staff and onboarding with employers.
Positive experiences can be achieved if you: make listening to customers a top priority; use customer feedback to improve your processes and systems; reduce barriers for customers engaging in your service; and treat all customers with respect and dignity.
Be careful not to assume you know what customers value. You might be surprised at what they say compared with what you think.
3. Re-invigorate your digital presence
With the increased focus on technology to support customers, it’s crucial for providers to review and update their digital presence. By creating a recognisable, attractive and memorable brand online, your service can stand out from competitors. Ensure your online presence communicates your brand values and has a consistent look and feel. Take a close look at the Workforce Australia brand guidelines and seek assistance as needed.
Often your website is the first impression a customer has of your organisation. Your website needs to be user-friendly, simple to navigate, professional and informative. As part of your website review, be sure to consider how to generate traffic, leads and ultimately conversion, aligned with a social media strategy. Take care to measure cost per lead per channel.
Remember, many customers will migrate from the Federal Government’s digital services platform and their expectations of your digital presence will be set accordingly.
4. Establish locations close to customers
A customer’s key deciding factor in choosing a provider is proximity to services close to Centrelink, public transport and their homes. Make sure you research and identify locations where your customers spend their time and use this to inform your site locations and targeted marketing activities.
Strategies used by providers include pop-up sites near supermarkets and Centrelink offices or co-location with other community organisations such as legal aid, childcare or settlement services. By strategically identifying your locations and pop-up sites, you’ll enhance your brand recognition and awareness.
With unemployment rates expected to continue to drop, take care to choose locations that provide flexibility for fluctuating caseload sizes.
5. Create a compelling sales pitch
The most successful employment services providers have well-developed key messages and a unique selling proposition. Providers must have a compelling, authentic pitch to customers that is embraced by their staff. In addition to the sales pitch, staff training should cover all the services offered by your organisation. This promotes internal referrals and removes barriers to entry for customers. For example, a staff member could refer by saying: “Hey, I’m not DES but you can talk to my colleague over there, let me introduce you”.
The new Workforce Australia brand is employer focused. Your prospective customers may find it difficult to identify your brand in a cluster of competitors. Your sales pitch should therefore personalise the customer experience and this starts with the initial contact. This will grow your referrals via word of mouth also.
6. Understand the power of storytelling
Customers want to know your service worked for someone else just like them. Storytelling is a brilliant way to help customers build a sense of hope for the future, inspiring them to take action.
Stories can take the form of videos, pictures, verbal presentations, conversations or written case studies. It’s about making a deep connection that evokes emotions, creates a sense of community and makes your brand memorable. Many employment consultants have mastered the skill of storytelling. For example: “I was also out of the workforce for 15 years and I’m a single mum too. It’s tough, but with the right approach we can work together to find employment that suits your situation, just like I did”.
Approach your marketing in 2022 with the ‘Eye of the Tiger’ – be adventurous, brave and enthusiastic in creating a brand that is strong, trusted and robust. If you need some help to unleash your ‘inner-tiger’, talk to the Prospert team and get your marketing activities on track for the launch of Workforce Australia.