Showing posts with label employee satisfaction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label employee satisfaction. Show all posts

How customer loyalty depends on employee satisfaction

We’ve all experienced it – you go to a store to buy something and the service is lousy, you walk out annoyed and make a mental note to never shop there again. Or you go to another store selling the same stuff and the service is excellent, you walk out feeling good and make a mental reminder to come back to this store when you next need whatever they sell. The difference behind these experiences is primarily employee training and attitude. Employees who are poorly trained and/or dissatisfied with how they perceive being treated by their employer and manager will reflect that in how they deal with customers.

How does this apply to B2B marketing and sales? Many B2B companies are focusing on customer retention and loyalty as a means to market and sell additional products/services/solutions to existing customers. A key element of this strategy is to increase customer retention and loyalty. Firstly, we need to recognize these are different attributes:

  • Customer retention means that a customer continues to actively use your product/service/solution and there is some continuing relationship such as subscribing to support or maintenance services.
  • Customer loyalty means that a customer desires to continue doing business with you based on their positive experience and satisfaction. They want to buy more from you.
While you obviously want to retain customers, developing customer loyalty is the key to generating significant revenues from existing customers.

However, before you set off on any marketing and sales program based on customer retention or loyalty, be aware that there is a direct correlation between employee satisfaction and customer loyalty. There is a lot of research to support this – just search for ‘customer loyalty and employee satisfaction’ in your favorite Internet search engine. If your employees, in every area of your business and particularly those who interact with customers, are dissatisfied with their situation and/or the conditions at your company overall, your customer loyalty rating will probably be impacted negatively.

To adapt an old adage – “customer loyalty starts at home” – there is no point in launching a customer loyalty program for generating more sales unless employee satisfaction and attitude at your company is generally positive. Unfortunately, during this challenging economic period, companies are doing many things to undermine employee satisfaction and are mistakenly expecting to improve sales via customer loyalty at the same time.

“Bring a good attitude to work and customers will feel it all day long.” – Anonymous

Customers can sense when something is wrong at a company based on the demeanor of the employees. An employee satisfaction program should be an integral precursor to using customer loyalty for marketing and sales programs for best results.

If you have a customer loyalty focus in your organization, check out this blog post by my good friend and former colleague Melissa Paulik about the role: The Trials of the Customer Loyalty Specialist.
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