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How Employee Engagement Drives Customer Satisfaction

As the saying goes, your product is only as good as your people. So what does it mean when you have talented employees and a good product, but low or middling customer satisfaction ratings?

In a recent survey launched by Glassdoor, researchers found an inextricable link between employee engagement and customer satisfaction.

For leaders in industries where high-touch customer service is integral to business success, the more engaged employees are, the happier customers will be to interact with them. This creates a positive cycle of brand loyalty and growth.

Here’s a deeper look at how employee engagement drives customer satisfaction—plus some tips on how to improve engagement when it starts to fall.

Engaged Employees Put In Discretionary Effort

Discretionary effort is the above-and-beyond work employees do when they’re invested in their roles. They aren’t required to do this work, and they aren’t asked to do it. They simply do more because they want to. This is essential to driving customer satisfaction.

An engaged employee is more likely to answer an email at the end of a long day than just put it off until tomorrow, or pick up the phone when there seems to be too much room for confusion through electronic communication.

But regardless of the demand of each customer request, burnout can be inevitable when employees aren’t engaged. Response times to customer inquiries may slow down, negative reviews might start popping up on review sites, and retention rates may drop.

To prevent this, anonymously ask employees for feedback on their experience(s) at your organization:

  • What do they like about their jobs?
  • What is lacking in their day-to-day?
  • What can the company be doing better to support them?

Take employee feedback seriously. If they don’t feel they’re adequately recognized for their work, consider a rewards program. If they are unsure about how their role fits in with the overall company goals, find a way to articulate how their day-to-day activities directly impact business results.

Check in with employees consistently. Engagement isn’t a one-and-done process. It’s ongoing. The more frequently you do a pulse-check on engagement, the more likely you’ll be able to resolve any arising engagement issues.

Engaged Employees Are Mission-Driven

Engaged employees care deeply about the work they do. They’re invested in the company, customers, and the success of both.

When employees are engaged, their main objective is driving the company mission forward. In customer-focused industries, driving the company mission means taking the utmost care with customers. Customers feel well taken care of and their satisfaction skyrockets.

Be transparent about what the company mission actually is and create a cultural document that employees can easily reference as a reminder. Start by crafting a mission statement and sharing it with employees, giving them the opportunity to tie their role to it directly.

Reinforce company culture and reward those who exemplify the company’s values. For example, if one of the company’s cultural values is honesty and ethics, reward employees for speaking up. If teamwork is a value, celebrate those who aren’t afraid to lend a helping hand.

Make Employee Experience a Priority

Richard Branson put it best when he said, “Take care of your employees and they will take care of your customers.” Customer demands are not always easy to manage, and the repetitive nature of addressing servicing needs and concerns can easily cause employee burnout. But the risk of that burnout can be mitigated by taking care of employees’ needs.

The more aligned employees are with company mission and the more fulfilled they are in their roles, the more positivity they’re going to put into their interactions with customers. Frustrations at work are inevitable, but if the foundations of why employees do the work they do are solid, they will persevere.