We often talk about the difference between satisfied customers and loyal customers, the latter being vastly more important to your business. Building a loyal customer base isn’t something that happens on its own. It’s the result of having a customer-centric culture, where employees are truly engaged throughout the organization.
There’s a big difference between satisfied employees and engaged employees. Some employees are “satisfied” by doing as little work as possible while collecting a pay check.
According to Gallup, 70% of U.S. employees are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged”. As well as the negative impact they have on customers, these employees have more accidents, make more mistakes, incur more healthcare costs and cost U.S. companies an estimated $450 billion to $550 billion annually. Just imagine what a lack of employee engagement is costing your business.
Whereas employees who are truly engaged are your top performers: looking for ways to perform their jobs more effectively, volunteering for additional responsibility, and helping co-workers. This group has fresh ideas, an entrepreneurial spirit and is responsible for bringing new customers to the table.
Even without the statistics, it’s easy to instinctively grasp how an engaged workforce can lead to a happier, more loyal customer base. Customers want companies to exceed their expectations, so you need employees that exceed yours. If you don’t know how you’re doing, consider using the same kind of approaches for measuring customer satisfaction and feedback to track your employees at every level (especially managers, who can make or break the engagement of their staff), and go from there.
I’m guilty of frequently quoting Tony Hsieh, CEO of online retailer Zappos.com, but here’s another great quote that sums things up perfectly:
Businesses often forget about the culture, and ultimately, they suffer for it because you can’t deliver good service from unhappy employees.
– Tony Hsieh