From small business owners to CEOs of global corporations – we’re all searching for ways to develop a growing, loyal base of customers. After all, logic says that the more satisfied customers you have, the better your bottom line will be. And, while that’s not wrong, this type of anecdote doesn’t provide any answers to the question on all of our minds: how do I maximize customer satisfaction?
Back in 2001 – when Continental Airlines was transforming from one of the worst-rated airlines to a competitive powerhouse – there was a memorable quote in The New York Times by the airline’s chairman, Gordon Bethune:
“It’s not an accident that the best places to work are also the places that make the most money.”
Similarly, when Fortune released it’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list in 2018, it reported:
“… it’s the companies that employees say are great workplaces that demonstrate stronger financial performance, reduced turnover, and better customer satisfaction than their peers.”
These are just two examples from countless others that speak to the same concept. To improve customer satisfaction (and, as a result, profits), you must improve employee satisfaction first. Here’s how you can get started.
1. Start Focusing on the EX Factor
As business leaders, we often spend a great deal of energy focusing on the Customer Experience (CX). We hire consultants to evaluate what we’re doing well and where our delivery is falling short. We analyze data and experiment with A/B testing. We provide sales skill trainings, create strategic plans and talk endlessly about customer service. The list goes on and on.
While we’d never suggest ignoring the CX, this traditional approach overlooks a core reality. If your organization suffers from a poor Employee Experience (EX), then you’re building on top of a very shaky foundation. You’ll find exponentially better results if you first focus on the EX.
Here’s Why: Your employees are your front line. They’re responsible for delivering your services and/or products to your customers, so it makes sense that there’s a direct correlation between employee engagement and customer satisfaction.
2. Identifying Standard Disparities
With the goal of increasing customer satisfaction, business leaders are placing an increasing value on tailoring their strategies to address their customers’ actual needs. They conduct research and analyze trends to understand and predict customers’ needs. They set standards for how employees speak to customers, deliver on promises, create high-quality experiences, etc. But few of us set those kinds of standards when we think about our employees – and that’s a mistake.
Here’s Why: Your employees are your most valuable target audience, so-to-speak. Creating an engaged workforce (that can deliver on your customer satisfaction goals) means understanding challenges they’re facing, barriers standing in their way and ways in which you are (and aren’t) delivering on their real needs.
Start by asking yourself: What would I do for my customers? How hard would I work to keep them? And then, as objectively as possible, evaluate whether you have different standards when asking those same questions about your employees.
We Can Help Create Customized Strategies for Improved Customer Satisfaction and Employee Engagement!
At FocalPoint Canada, we guide our clients in overcoming challenges and leveraging opportunities with proven processes and methodologies that have been used by thousands of successful businesses over the past two decades. Our FocalPoint business coaches use their expertise to teach our time-tested methods through individual coaching, group sessions, or trainings and workshops.
It all starts with a conversation. Call us at 866-761-1616 or email email@example.com