Employee Engagement Drives Customer Satisfaction

Engaged employees provide services with pride which can improve customer satisfaction. This is especially important for customer-facing service industries like financial, government, and healthcare sectors.

Study after study has shown employee engagement is a predictor of how employees deliver services and how their behavior, in turn, affects customer satisfaction.

ISS, a provider of facility services around the world, amassed more than 20,000 responses from customers comprising more than 2,500 contracts globally and over 500,000 responses from employees.

Data revealed two major, though not surprising, conclusions related to how employee engagement drives customer satisfaction.

The first was that front-line service employee engagement correlates highly with customer experience. What was surprising was just how high that correlation turned out to be (a correlated coefficient of 0.55).To give that figure some meaning for those of us less statistically savvy, consider these figures Forbes contributor Kevin Kruse extracted from the American Psychologist :

  • Chemotherapy and breast cancer survival: r = .03
  • Antibiotics and the cure for pediatric ear pain: r = .08
  • Smoking and incidence of lung cancer within 25 years: r = .08
  • Effect of ibuprofen on pain reduction: r = .14
  • Alcohol and aggressive behavior: r = .23
  • Sleeping pills and improvement in insomnia: r = .30
  • Viagra and improved male sexual functioning: r = .38
  • Employee engagement and customer satisfaction: r = .55

The second conclusion pointed to three main employee engagement drivers behind positive customer experience. Simply, and again not surprisingly, employees must:

  1. Be motivated to do a good job.
  2. Receive good training.
  3. Understand what the customer expects in terms of service delivery and how they can deliver on the value proposition originally promised.

To fully understand and exemplify an organization’s value proposition for the benefit of customers, employees (especially those on the front lines) need to feel fully committed, take pride in doing their job, and go above and beyond what’s expected.  Of course, the attitude and behavior of direct supervisors and senior leaders set the tone. So it behooves those at the helm to be exemplary models, to demonstratively communicate the vision of the organization and instill an understanding across all levels and functions. As noted by The Guardian, social media is outpacing the bandwidth of sales and marketing teams; every employee now plays a greater advocacy role than ever before. Championing stewardship, when it comes from a place of engagement and pride, will invariably influence customers, in a positive and profitable way.

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