Today’s business owners are continuously trying to improve their organisation’s customer experience due to the direct impact this has on their bottom line. The key lies in the ability to properly motivate and drive employees to perform beyond what is expected of them. To a large extent, this is attributed to the way you engage your employees.
Research shows that there’s a strong correlation between employee engagement and organisational strength with a “customer satisfaction” link in the middle. What this means is that engaged employees function as the beginning of the link influencing customer satisfaction, which then has an impact on revenue growth and profitability. A recent Conference Board Study found that 4 out of 10 employees feel disconnected from their employers and a quarter come to work just for the paycheck. On the opposite end of the spectrum, high engagement among your employees improves morale, reduces staff turnover and improves profitability.
One consequence of this is that employee disengagement results in a largely unproductive workforce. This finding is supported by the Profiles International – Imagine Great People™ study that reports in losses resulting up to $350 billion per year because of lower levels of productivity due to employee disengagement.
How do I build and strengthen employee engagement?
- Leadership involvement from senior executives (and top executives)
- Clarifying and establishing overall objectives
- Determining drivers of engagement
- Effectively communicating the objectives to the internal audience at all levels
- Aligning to objectives, including appropriate accountability
- Measurement of the work-life environment
- Acting on the results
When employees are engaged they become your biggest brand advocates, showing much enthusiasm and energy when they deal with the public. Often your customers’ first point of contact with your business is through your employees so this first interaction will often be the deciding factor of whether your customer will have any dealings with your organisation.
Engaged employees create engaged customers who stay longer, spend more, return more frequently and recommend your services and products to others. Research has also clearly shown that while billions of dollars are invested in tangible items such as lighting and merchandising which has some impact on the customer experience and revenue, it’s misspent unless the organisation has first put measures in place to measure and manage employee engagement.
Engaged employees provide a better brand experience
Because engaged employees are more productive, they will be able to deal more efficiently with customer enquiries and complaints. As people are becoming busier, it’s simply more convenient for your customers to deal with someone who is highly competent in resolving their problems, so an engaged employee will stand out more in their minds. It’s a no brainer that such a customer will return and purchase from you again because it’s easy and hassle-free and over time they will become more loyal to your organisation.
Engaged employees are more customer centric
Because engaged employees truly care about your organisation’s customers, one of their chief goals will be to make these customers feel valued. Businesses are required to view their customer’s challenges through a set of lenses that will allow them to have a deep understanding and a desire to find solutions to such challenges.
In addition, engaged staff have a positive impact on an organisation’s reputation in the wider world by being brand ambassadors. By contrast, disengaged employees can tarnish an organisation’s image and reputation.
In closing, if you are a business owner who is serious about leveraging the connections between employee engagement and customer satisfaction, it’s important to retain people who care about their work performance and the company’s future success.