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41. Would You Recommend Us to a Friend?

41. Would You Recommend Us to a Friend?

The CSI Companies: Net Promoter Score®

Recruiting firm The CSI Companies (CSI) uses Net Promoter Scores and supplemental survey questions from a leading third-party research firm to gauge their effectiveness and timeliness, and ensure a great customer experience.  

How do you know if your clients are happy with your service? 

For staffing agencies like CSI, building positive relationships with job seekers and organizations plays an essential role in providing a great service, but to truly excel, they must also continuously review the customer experience and look at ways to improve.

To do this, they need open and honest feedback that not only amplifies the voices of the most passionate advocates but also identifies where service falls short.

“The Net Promoter Score allows us to do both,” Chris Flakus, CSI’s Chief Operating Officer says. “That’s why we’ve invested in this program since 2012.”  

The Net Promoter Score® (NPS) measures the loyalty between provider and consumer, and is calculated based on responses to a single question: “How likely are you to recommend our company to a friend or colleague?” This alternative to traditional customer satisfaction research was developed by Fred Reichheld, Bain & Company, and Satmetrix and was introduced by Reichheld in 2003 in his Harvard Business Review article ‘The One Number You Need to Grow.’ In 2012, CSI began using NPS to measure how they stack up against other providers in the eyes of their customers.


CSI works with a third-party research firm called ClearlyRated (formerly Inavero) to conduct its annual NPS surveys. ClearlyRated sends CSI’s clients and candidate pool a variety of service quality questions in addition to the NPS survey question. Clients are asked about how quickly issues are resolved, how realistic expectations are set, and the quality of candidates, while candidates are asked about how accurately the position is presented and how well they are treated by the client.

“CSI has been a staple to our business. They have always delivered quality candidates and helps us provide an extended bench of resources with some of the most unexpected and most difficult qualifications to fill.”

“The NPS methodology is evidence-based,” said Brandy Kerby, president of CSI Professional. “By using actual data collected by a third-party, we can accurately gauge the effectiveness and timeliness of the services we provide.” 

The ClearlyRated platform immediately notifies CSI account managers and recruiters when the company receives a response from an unhappy customer, also known as a detractor.

For example, soon after a candidate noted that their employer’s communications about upcoming holiday schedules, furloughs, and contract extensions were unclear, the CSI team reached out to the client for clarification. Based on the feedback, the client established an enhanced schedule to better equip CSI recruiters with this type of information. 

After receiving several comments from candidates about other communication needs, the CSI team decided to implement an automated platform that would update candidates every time a trigger was set off in CSI’s customer relationship management (CRM) platform. This initiative allowed CSI to immediately notify candidates about critical information such as paid time off policies and start date confirmations. 

“We make sure to immediately reach out to the customer, address the issue, and take steps to ameliorate the situation,” said Andrew Cihlar, president of CSI Tech. “At CSI, we strive to be as efficient as possible at answering questions and addressing issues promptly, and through the process of responding to customer feedback, we’ve had the chance to improve our reaction rate and communication strategies. In 2019, more than 90% of surveyed candidates asserted that all issues were resolved ‘in a timely manner.’”

Naturally, the team welcomes positive feedback, too, not only finding motivation but also confirmation of what matters to customers. 

“CSI has been a staple to our business. They have always delivered quality candidates and helps us provide an extended bench of resources with some of the most unexpected and most difficult qualifications to fill.” 

“CSI is clearly a ‘find who you need company’ as opposed to a “present you who we have company.’”

“CSI provides quality candidates that fit our budget and culture. They have invested the time to gain a great understanding of expectations and different manager’s preferences. I know that I can call on CSI to fill an urgent position and they’ll have a pipeline of candidates to meet our needs.”

The NPS surveys have also allowed CSI to assess how they are performing within the context of the broader market. ClearlyRated’s Best of Staffing® Award is the only award in the U.S. and Canada that recognizes staffing agencies that have proven superior service quality based exclusively on ratings provided by their clients and placed talent. In 2019, participating divisions CSI Financial, CSI Professional, and CSI Tech secured Best of Staffing awards for both talent and client satisfaction. CSI Tech and CSI Professional have received the Best of Staffing award five consecutive times and are designated as Diamond Award winners.

In the future, CSI hopes to develop the survey program further to become a benchmark for client and talent satisfaction across all four of the firm’s divisions. 

“By continuing to use the proven NPS methodology, I’m confident that we can further increase customer satisfaction across the group,” said Larry Mims, president of CSI Financial. “The more transparent and honest our relationships are, the better the service is that we provide, and ultimately the happier our job seekers and clients are.”

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