The Relationship Between Employee Engagement and Satisfied Customers

a woman on the phone with a smile and thumbs up

Those of us who have spent decades in the field of customer service look at the picture above and see two things:

1. An engaged employee who loves their job, their company and gives it their all.
2. The likelihood of a happy and loyal customer on the other end of the phone.

And that’s what so many miss…the link between engaged employees and customer loyalty. Some people call it the service-profit chain. Whatever you call it, the concept is that there is a direct relationship between [internal service quality, employee engagement, employee retention, employee productivity, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty] and [revenue growth and profitability.]

Just think about your own customer experience at the store, on the phone or in business. If you encounter an employee who has high conviction about what they do and how they did it that provides excellent service and value, what is your reaction as a customer? You most likely leave with positive feelings about the interaction and the organization.

For example, I am a volunteer ski patrol in the winter. My Patagonia ski pants of 15 years started to lose their water protective qualities. I called Patagonia and they sent me a new pair of pants for free with little fuss because their products are guaranteed for life. I am now a Patagonia advocate for life – and so are my friends and the people that see me patrolling on the mountain.

Of course, the opposite is true too. A disengaged, sour-faced employee will leave you with doubts about the organization they work for. For example, my son recently was involved in a minor traffic collision. Our insurance agent of 30 years was useless in helping us understand our options and making a wise decision about how to proceed. Our satisfaction with the process was low, and we would gladly entertain switching providers based upon that one negative experience.

The point is that the attitude and behavior of your employees (especially your customer-facing employees) have a profound effect on the attitude, behavior and profitability of your customers. The more engaged your employees, the more likely your customers will reflect their positive attitudes. When you analyze the numbers, this connection can make a huge difference to your bottom line.

Studies show that a whopping 70% of the workforce is at best complacent and at worst actively disengaged. Imagine what these employees are doing to your customer base. If customers are tuned in to their experiences with your employees, you risk having the same negative impressions that I had of our insurance agent and her company.

Well satisfied customers are loyal and profitable. They talk to friends and associates about their experience. Go Patagonia! They add ratings and reviews that are readily available as testimonials on your web site and through social media. Indifferent customers, by the same token, can cause a lot of damage. They are easily tipped toward negative impressions. Actively disengaged employees can result in actively disengaged customers…the customers who can bad-mouth your organization and go elsewhere.

If you are looking to improve customer reactions and word-of-mouth marketing, begin with your workforce. Improve employee engagement and you will improve the experience of your customers. It’s all about relationships. Strengthen the one between your employees and the organization and you will, at the same time, strengthen the relationship between your customers and the company. All this hard work will end up in your favor… improved business results.

Benchmark your employee engagement practices to see where you stand.

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AKQA

Harmonic has worked with LSA for over 8 years. We have found their partnership extremely beneficial. We recently implemented a Management Development Program that was designed and customized to support our company’s strategic initiative of hiring, building, and retaining key intellectual property and human talent. We worked closely with LSA to target and implement the right solutions with the greatest impact. I would recommend LSA to any company that’s looking for a trusted training and development partner.

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I had been working with LSA for many years with my prior company. Currently, I’m with a company who hadn’t done much basic management skills training. After identifying and presenting a program recently, our managers are excited and talking in the halls about the great experience. LSA saves us time in delivering the right training for our needs.

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LSA has been a tremendous asset to my portfolio, both at my current company and my past company. As an HR leader, I am always looking for ways to find external resources that can provide a solution to our management training needs. LSA does that for me. Their solutions are presented in a much more leadership-oriented manner so as to be crisp, business relevant, and easy to apply right back on the job. I will continue to augment our programs using LSA solutions.

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In my years working with LSA, it seems like I’ve had a personal consultant at my fingertips to help me identify just the right solution to satisfy our needs. The entire LSA team has become a trusted friend of Actel — assuring we provide state-of-the-art learning to meet our complex, high-tech business and people needs.

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We consider LSA our true business partner in the areas of Learning and Organizational Development. From Strategic Planning to Presentation Skills and Management Training, they continue to provide excellent value and extremely high quality solutions – not just one time events. I recommend them to anyone looking to drive true business results.

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Samsung

LSA exceeded all my expectations. We interviewed 7 potential training and consulting partners and selected LSA due to their expertise, flexibility, and breadth and depth of solutions. We were able to construct a management training course from the modules most appropriate to our needs, and are able to provide additional training from their well developed portfolio of experts. Our managers galvanized as a team throughout the session and are better prepared for the rigors of a competitive market.

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