Most businesses understand the importance of delivering an exceptional customer experience. However, many fail to recognize the value of creating a great employee experience.
At one time or another, almost everybody has vowed to never spend another dime with a business after dealing with a representative who was rude, unpleasant or downright hostile. On the other hand, we’ve all had experiences with happy, pleasant and helpful employees who left us with a favorable impression.
Employees who interact with customers are the face of your company. That’s why enlightened companies understand the importance of giving their employees the tools, services and flexibility they need.
The Employee-Customer Connection
The link between employee and customer satisfaction is not merely theoretical. Several studies by the jobs and recruiting website Glassdoor establish strong statistical connections.
For a 2019 study, Glassdoor compared results from millions of its employee reviews and company ratings against the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), which records the opinions of 300,000 U.S. customers on products and services. The research found that over a 10-year period, each one-star improvement in a company’s Glassdoor employee rating corresponded to a 1.3 percent improvement in customer satisfaction scores.
An earlier Glassdoor study suggests that a happy workforce also has a positive influence on stock performance. The company charted a variety of hypothetical investment portfolios over a seven-year period. Investments in companies ranked among Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work, based on employee surveys, outperformed the S&P 500 by about 85 percent and the overall market by more than 115 percent. By contrast, a portfolio of the most poorly reviewed companies underperformed the market by more than 30 percent.
While correlation doesn’t equal causation, the studies strongly indicate that companies with an employee-friendly culture are likely to be more profitable and have greater customer loyalty. Building team morale has become especially important following a year of unprecedented challenges that changed the way we think about when, where and how work gets done.
Preparing for Hybrid Work
Millions of U.S. workers are beginning the transition back to an office setting, whether on a full-time basis or as part of a hybrid work environment. After months of working in isolation from home offices with unstructured schedules and minimal direct supervision, many will enjoy renewing relationships and settling into some old routines; others may find the transition somewhat jarring.
Every company is unique, so there isn’t one “right” way to support a hybrid workplace — it will be a work in progress. However, there are a few common elements that will help keep hybrid workers satisfied, efficient and productive. Chief among these is open, effective communication.
Whether hybrid workers are in or out of the office, they need an integrated communications platform that will ensure they can seamlessly interact with managers, colleagues and customers. Many of the cloud-based conferencing and collaboration tools that allowed people work remotely will support the flexibility required in a hybrid environment.
If you don’t already have one, consider establishing a company intranet or portal to provide a central point of contact for employees, whether they are in the office, at home or on the road. Portals are also great for conducting surveys to find out what technologies, services or processes will help keep everyone engaged and focused.
All companies need to focus on the customer experience but it is important to think of employee and customer satisfaction as two sides of the same coin. Given today’s new realities, a flexible work strategy built on seamless communication and collaboration will help create a positive experience for everyone.