The Critically Important Audience You May Be Overlooking

It’s probably no surprise that poor customer service can have an enormous amount of negative impact on your business. But what about poor service to employees? Does the internal satisfaction of your employees weigh on that metric? A recent article by Christine Porath in Harvard Business Review would suggest that it does.

We’ve all heard the saying that a satisfied customer might tell one person about his or her experience, while a dissatisfied customer will tell ten. In an article for CTMA World, Paul Linnell cites more concrete statistics that show a 43 percent drop (from 92 percent to 49 percent) in customer loyalty among survey respondents when they rate their level of satisfaction as “somewhat satisfied” compared with “very satisfied.” The figure drops to 11 percent customer loyalty for those who feel merely “mollified.”

How often have you felt compelled to give a discount, or free product or service to an unhappy customer? How much of your managers’ valuable time is spent going out of their way to reach out to customers to demonstrate how the higher-ups in the organization truly care about their clientele? Companies spend a lot of time and effort on measuring and improving customer satisfaction.

Maybe too much time. Perhaps that time could be better spent elsewhere, resulting in the same—or even greater—impact.

While most organizations are not oblivious to the importance of customer satisfaction, and rightly so, they may be largely ignoring a very cost-effective way to boost customer satisfaction: employee satisfaction.

Cranky employees lead to dissatisfied customers. Porath points to an earlier study by Harvard Business Review saying “our research shows that people are less likely to buy from a company with an employee they perceive as rude, whether the rudeness is directed at them or at other employees.”

Somewhat surprisingly, most companies don’t do a good job of creating an environment conducive to employee satisfaction. In her article, Porath discussed the results of a survey showing that 54 percent of employees don’t feel respected by their bosses, and that translates into a poor customer experience. If your employees don’t feel respected at work, how are they going to treat your customers? What will a negative attitude on the part of your front-line employees say about your brand?

While employee satisfaction may not initially stand out as a potential top priority in terms of your overall marketing strategy, it should be a key area of focus. HBR’s survey results suggest that this often overlooked metric can be a key factor in ensuring the satisfaction of your customers and, ultimately, your business success.

Recommended Reading:

The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement

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