How to alienate customers and prospects without even trying… amazing figures!

Posted by Dr Glyn Brokensha | September - 8 - 2014 | 1 Comment

applicantAlienationJust about everyone knows the old business adage that a dissatisfied customer will tell ten people, whereas a satisfied customer will tell only one.  And it’s pretty easy to imagine why that happens.


But a recent Expr3ss! survey of job applicants reveals that it is very, very much worse to create a dissatisfied applicant.  And it’s so easy to do… all you have to do is do nothing!

Yes, simply doing nothing will alienate your job applicants nicely.  When they don’t hear anything from you, our study shows that they think about their application and your company negatively every day for an average of 45 days.  And the feelings get stronger day-by-day not weaker, until eventually they give up.

And they tell their friends… lots of them.

By not communicating with your applicants (by which I mean not ever sending a progress email and particularly never sending a prompt, courteous regret email to unsuccessful applicants) you’re creating an army of negative brand ambassadors.  Free!

So what’s so bad about that?

Maybe you’re thinking, “so what?… we have lots of applicants for our jobs, people want to work for us, unemployment is rising… so what’s the problem?”

The problem is that it’s not just your employment brand you’re trashing, it’s your product or service that suffers, and suffers worse.  In your applicants’ eyes your product or service is indelibly tarnished along with your employment brand.  As far as applicants are concerned, they are the same thing.

So how much greater is the damage done to your product or service brand?  Our survey shows that it’s a lot more.

Yes, whilst poor product or poor service “leverage” is ten to one, poor communication in dealing with applicants makes 92% of applicants think negatively about your brand… and you probably have lots of applicants… and then they tell a lot of people…. a lot.

The applicant alienation multiplier isn’t 10… it’s more like 200.  So if you have 50 applicants who don’t receive a prompt, courteous regret email that lets them move on gracefully, 46 of them (92%) will poison your product or service in the minds of about 9,200 of your customers or potential customers.  And no business can afford to alienate customers and prospects.

Why is the multiplier so huge?  It’s social media of course.  It’s now the work of but a moment for a disaffected applicant to bag your brand and who knows where the ripples will stop?

So send a prompt, gracious regret email to every single unsuccessful applicant.  Nobody expects to be successful in every role they apply for but they do expect to be able to move on promptly with those roles for which they are truly in contention.  It’s hard to believe that we constantly receive thank you messages from rejected applicants … but we do.

Expr3ss! users… take a look at the “TidyUp!” button on the View Applicants page.  In a couple of clicks you’ll have it all done with no misses, no duplicates and no worries!


One Response so far...

  1. Dianna says:

    Great article.
    I’ve experienced first hand the benefits of sending applicants ‘reject/regret emails.’
    On several occasions, I’ve actually received a call or email from the unsuccessful applicants to THANK ME for letting them know they weren’t successful and for keeping them updated along the way about their applications.