Happy employees lead to a positive work culture and happy customers. Many studies show that employee satisfaction directly impacts customer engagement and loyalty.
In 2017, Gallup reported in “The State of the American Workplace” that engaged employees are more likely to improve customer relationships, which in turn, increases sales by 20%. And according to JustWorks, happy employees translate into a higher customer Net Promoter Score.
The way you engage your employees directly correlates with the way they treat your customers. It’s important to focus on employee satisfaction in order to grow your business and build customer loyalty.
In this post, we discuss five different ways you can increase employee satisfaction to engage and retain customers.
1. Develop opportunities for growth
Whether you own a car wash, restaurant, or convenience store, it’s important to develop career growth opportunities for your employees. Many employees want to develop new skills so that they can grow both personally and professionally.
If an employee feels stuck and doesn’t see an opportunity for growth, they may feel undervalued and less motivated to perform at their best. There are many ways you can provide opportunities for career development. You can develop a formal training program for all new hires, and make sure your employees are aware of the opportunities available to them.
For example, let’s say your hostess, Suzy, wants to learn how to wait tables and manage the cash register. While you hired her to greet guests and assign them to the right tables, if Suzy shadows the waitstaff and learns new skills, you increase your chances of retaining her as an employee.
The more you invest in your employees, the more they will invest in their position and in your customers.
2. Create meaningful work
Employees want to work in a place where they can make an impact and feel as though their work is meaningful. While certain day-to-day tasks may feel mundane, it’s important to always remind your staff of why they’re doing what they’re doing. Be transparent with them and explain how their job impacts the overall business goals.
Reveal what your quarterly goals are and why. Explain how as a team you can get there together and how their efforts impact your customers. If your employees understand why their role in the company is important, they will feel more inspired and motivated to work their hardest.
You can create meaningful work by holding daily stand-ups where you express your goals and ask employees to share theirs as well as their concerns. You can also highlight employee success stories and how their efforts make a difference. The more transparent you are, the more your staff will be able to find meaning in their work.
3. Hire supportive managers and give employee feedback
Employees want to feel supported and valued. If someone on your staff feels as though no one is invested in them, they most likely won’t aim to improve their productivity. It’s important to hire supportive managers who encourage all employees and provide constructive feedback.
Communication is key when it comes to employee and customer satisfaction. Tell your employees what they are doing right and what they could improve on. Then, provide them with the tools they need to achieve their goals.
According to Jeff Miller, the Senior Director of Talent Management at Cornerstone OnDemand, half of all employees quit because of managers. You need to have the right leaders in place to guide your staff in the right direction so that they can ensure your customers are engaged.
4. Build a fun work culture
Work should be fun — it’s that simple. If your employees are having fun, so will your customers. Work culture directly impacts customers and it’s important to create a work culture that reflects your brand and creates a positive environment to work in.
Host team outings, pizza parties, movie nights, and from time to time offer an unexpected treat in the break room. Ask them what they love about working at your business and what they would change. The more you listen to your employees, the more engaged they will be.
Make sure to hire people who represent your brand and desired work culture — your staff should share your company values. Most of all, remember to have fun!
5. Reward your employees
If you take care of your employees, they will perform better and take better care of your customers. One way to motivate your staff is by rewarding them when they do a great job.
Choose an employee of the month and reward them with a gift card for their hard work. Divide your staff into different teams and hold competitions to drive engagement. For example, if you own a pizza parlor, you can divide your waiters into two separate teams and reward the team who sold the most specials during the weekend.
Just like you reward your best customers, reward your best employees in order to increase their performance and overall loyalty.
When it comes to increasing customer engagement and loyalty, we often focus solely on customers. It’s easy to forget that employees have a direct impact on how customers experience your business. Running a successful business is about building relationships.
It’s important to invest in your staff in order to increase employee engagement and in turn, create happy customers.