How Employee Engagement Can Improve the Customer Experience

Increase employee engagement to keep customers happy

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You may work hard to keep your customers happy by collecting feedback at many customer touchpoints–and making improvements accordingly. But managing customer satisfaction externally is only part of the equation. What about the employees who serve your customers? How do your organization’s internal dynamics affect the overall customer experience?

Numerous studies have shown that a dissatisfied employee is unlikely to provide good customer service or pass vital customer feedback up the chain. If employees aren’t engaged with their jobs, they probably are not representing your organization well. And this can poison your customer relationships–and the overall customer experience.

In fact, employee disengagement is a bigger problem than most employers realize. One Gallup study found that 70% of American workers are either not engaged or actively disengaged with their jobs. Disengagement is a complex issue and can stem from many sources, such as an unclear career path, poor professional relationships or an unpleasant work environment.

It’s up to you to address these problems and provide employees with the morale and motivation they need to offer customers the best experience. Here’s how.

First, measure overall employee engagement

But rewarding employees is only part of keeping employees engaged. Even if you hand out gift cards every quarter, that may not be enough to motivate employees. It’s a good idea to use employee engagement surveys to find out what employees think of their jobs and your organization in general. But in order to get useful responses, you need to ask the right questions. Here are some employee survey examples to get started:

Give your employees a survey to get an overall sense of their engagement and employee satisfaction
Ask employees to share their perceptions of a co-worker or manager’s behavior with a 360-degree employee evaluation survey
Ensure employees that their responses are anonymous so they feel they can give you honest feedback
Survey employees regularly to set internal and external employee engagement benchmarks so you can measure progress and set goals

Next, measure the underlying work conditions

Once you collect general employee feedback, you need to figure out why employees feel (or don’t feel) motivated and engaged. Ask your employees to weigh in on specific workplace issues with human resources surveys that address issues like:

Career development
Relationships with management
Employee benefits
Work environment
Work-life balance

And, if you do happen to lose an employee or two, make sure they fill out an employee exit survey so you can collect invaluable feedback on what may be causing employees to look elsewhere for employment.

Finally, reward employees for their good work

So what do you do if you find employees aren’t motivated? Show employees you appreciate their hard work–and reward them for their efforts–by incentivizing excellent work. You can achieve this by identifying all-star employees and awarding them publicly with a desirable prize, such as a bonus or a gift card. Whether you establish regular quarterly goals or reward one-off achievements, keep your employees motivated and engaged so they’re proud of (and invested in) your organization. In turn, they’ll treat your customers with the care they deserve.

Engaged employees serve customers better

Even though employee engagement is complex and has many factors, get a head start on keeping employees happy by asking them how they feel. Because when you collect employee feedback that will direct improvements internally, your organization will shine on the outside. Improved employee satisfaction and customer service? It’s a win-win.

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