Increase Employee Satisfaction=Increase Customer Satisfaction

The Service Profit Chain 
In today’s competitive climate, organizations must focus on not only attracting new customers but also retaining their existing customers.
Picture yourself as a customer. Do you cringe when you see the words “in training” on employee badges? Does your view of the organization diminish when the customer contact employee does not seem to know what they are doing or does not have the authority to handle your request? Have you been working with a contact at a company for months only to learn they are no longer with the company and you now have to reestablish a relationship and understanding of your situation?

On the other hand, are you pleasantly surprised when a customer contact employee takes ownership of your problem and continues to work with you until it is corrected?

So how do you increase your customer’s satisfaction levels? Answer: Have satisfied employees.

In their book, The Service Profit Chain (on Amazon #ad), Heskett, Sasser and Schlesinger conducted an extensive study of profitable service companies and they concluded:
“About two thirds of employee's satisfaction levels were caused by just three factors:
1) The latitude given employees by their management to meet customer needs,
2) The authority given them to serve customers and
3) Possession of the knowledge and skills needed to serve customers.
The other one third come from:
4) well engineered support systems, and
5) recognition and rewards.

The incentives and rewards must encourage them to take "ownership" of the customer's problems and figuratively speaking, the business.”

Notice the connection between what you want as a customer: having your needs met, speaking with someone with authority, a knowledgeable person who has the skills to solve your situation with what employees also want from a job. Employees want to do a great job and when they can their satisfaction increases. Who would want to feel inadequate and not trained or trusted to make a decision that will help a customer?

Here are a few items to consider for increasing employee satisfaction which will in turn, increase customer satisfaction:
  • Training, Training, Training - Many organizations cut back on training during the downturn in economy. Now is the time to return to training to ensure your employees are confident in their responsibilities.
  • Empower Employees - Once employees are trained, increase their levels of authority to make decisions to serve customers based on their skills and abilities.
  • Survey Employees – Ask employee’s regularly what frustrates them when trying to serve customer needs and then put in action plans for correction.

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