“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 culture in building sustainable employee satisfaction, 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: “Give customers a great experience and they’ll buy more, be more loyal and share their experience with friends,” noted a recent PwC study, which found that “73% of all people point to customer experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions.”
So we’ve outlined an important — and often overlooked — way to ensure positive customer experiences: build a culture that keeps employees motivated and engaged. Our culture report breaks it down. Download it here.
‘Two sides of the same coin’
It’s not just speculation: these two elements really are deeply connected. A recent Harvard Business Review article cites a Glassdoor study which found that “a happier workforce is clearly associated with companies’ ability to deliver better customer satisfaction,” and cautioned businesses that “our research reminds business leaders that becoming more customer-oriented while allowing workplace morale to suffer is a poor and short-sighted strategy. Instead, customer and employee satisfaction should be seen as two sides of the same coin.”
The link between employee and customer satisfaction shows that culture affects your bottom line. “For decades, organizational research has shown a correlation between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction in situations where employees are in direct contact with customers,” writes CultureIQ Principal Strategist Paul Mastrangelo in HR.com. 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.
Businesses with great customer service understand getting culture right, Customer Experience Futurist Blake Morgan writes in her Forbes article on the “10 most customer-obsessed companies of 2019.” She writes that “successful organizations invest in empowering their employees and provide them with the right tools and culture to succeed.”
Satisfied customers give employees purpose, dignity
It’s a win-win. While engaged employees lead to satisfied customers, the opposite is also true. Satisfied customers also play a role in creating a strong cultural foundation of purpose and dignity among employees. .While it’s important to learn from negative customer experiences, success stories with customers should also be highlighted and recognized to motivate employees and drive engagement.