Happy employees ensure satisfied customers

Danny Paulich

When organisations cooperate well with their employees, engagement, commitment and customer focus increase. This leads to loyal customers and ultimately to a better bottom-line. This is, in short, the strength of the “service profit chain”.

Happy employees ensure satisfied customers

Action = response

There is a strong link between employee engagement and employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction.” Thus, Guido Heezen, founder of Effectory. “When an employee does not feel comfortable and cheerful at work, that attitude is apparent when dealing with clients. A customer then thinks: What’s going on here? A feeling of uncertainty when dealing with employee in question arises about the product or service. In the hotel industry, this effect is very visible. Upon entering you feel immediately if the atmosphere is good and whether colleagues are doing well. This directly contributes to the level of customer satisfaction.

The opposite is also true

This effect applies to all organisations. “If the corporate culture is good, the employee will feel more involved in the organisation and be happier at work. This leads to satisfied and loyal customers.” The opposite is also the case: the happier the customers, the happier the employee. Satisfied customers can lead to healthy, even jovial interactions. If everyone around you is happy and everyone will experience nicer day. “And that’s great, because employees who are in their hands make organisations more successful and customer-focused.”

Effect is even stronger within the business market

Within the business market, the interaction between employee engagement and customer satisfaction is even stronger. “Because contact between employee and customer is more frequent, the relationship deepens,” says director Hans Hylkema of customer research firm Customeyes. “If it’s good, it creates a more personal band. Confidence grows and the trust factor increases. There is a willingness to build a long-term relationship from both sides. The supplier no longer sells a product or service, but works together creating the best fit. When this happens, there is much more co-creation.

The Service Profit Chain

The more engaged and committed employees are, the happier and more loyal your customers are, the higher the profit and growth of an organisation. That’s what researchers Heskett, Sasser and Schlesinger of Harvard University discovered after five years of research at large companies. In 1997, they published their book The Service Profit Chain – How Leading Companies Link Profit and Growth To Loyalty, Satisfaction and Value. Their findings are also confirmed today.

Many organisations are entangled in themselves

It’s so simple in theory – but practice it can be an up-hill battle. Organisations can become entangled in their old habbits, without realising it. They have been doing the same for years, and the dealings with customers have been formalised. The customer has disappeared from focus, and the organisation has lost touch with their employees. They are completely engrossed by profit maximisation, growth and satisfaction of shareholders. They make everything subordinate to the higher organisational goal – including their employees. Their attitude is understandable, because they are under pressure from all sides. Left and right, they threaten to be caught by startups with innovative ideas. However, they forgot that they already have their innovative power, in the form of their own employees. They can simply ask their customers what they need, and how they are best served. When this insight occurs, this is the beginning of a major change. It’s a step towards becoming a sustainably successful organisation.