The Connection Between Employee Engagement & Customer Satisfaction
“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” Doug Conant, former CEO of Campbell Soup
A company is doing something right if both their employees and customers are happy. We know about the importance of employee engagement and the importance of customer satisfaction. But, as Doug Conant suggests, is there also a connection between the two?The short answer is yes, and a strong connection at that. Delivering a positive customer experience is crucial to your business: 80% of U.S. consumers would pay more for a product or service to ensure a superior customer experience. So we’ve outlined an important — and often overlooked — way to ensure positive customer experiences: employee engagement.Want to learn more about what engaged employees look like? Our culture report breaks it down. Download it here.
Happy Employees = Happy Customers
It’s not just speculation, these two elements really are deeply connected. Here is a sampling of studies that support this conclusion: Companies in the top quartile of employee engagement experience 10% higher customer ratings. (Gallup State of the American Workplace)Employee engagement affects your bottom line. Employee satisfaction is directly linked to customer satisfaction — and customer satisfaction is directly linked to financial performance. (Washington State University)A study conducted by Washington State University determined that customer satisfaction is directly linked to employee satisfaction and that financial success is directly linked to customer satisfaction. Therefore, employee engagement is indirectly, yet importantly, linked to financial performance. Employee behavior and attitude is one of the most significant drivers of customer satisfaction. These employees spread their enthusiasm to customers and are more dedicated to providing the best possible service. For example, as Bain & Company explains, the “key ingredient” to JetBlue’s high customer ratings is that “JetBlue employees treat customers’ problems as their own.” (Bain & Company)
Satisfied Customers Also Increase Engagement
It’s a win-win. While engaged employees lead to satisfied customers, the opposite is also true. Satisfied customers also play a role in employee engagement. Positive customer experiences can reinforce how employees feel about the value and purpose of their work. It motivated them to repeat their behavior, to see even more value and purpose in their work.While it’s important to learn from negative customer experiences, positive ones should also be highlighted to motivate employees and drive engagement. Therefore, managers and supervisors should highlight and recognize customer satisfaction success stories.