No business can last without customers, and investing time and energy to ensure your customers feel ❤️ generates sales and increases loyalty.
What’s often overlooked when companies aim to build excellent customer experiences? That customer ❤️ starts with the people in your organization who are responsible for keeping those customers happy: your employees. When you put in the effort and time to ensure your employees love you, you reap the rewards of a more invested workforce and see the results on your bottom line.
The cost of employee turnover
The “Great Resignation” has shined a spotlight on the importance of employee satisfaction with their work and employer. For perspective, the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported 4.3 million Americans, nearly three percent of the national workforce, quit their jobs in August 2021 alone. That is a massive amount of people creating vacancies that employers are now scrambling to fill. For companies that are losing employees, the cost of replacing an individual can be crippling, ranging from one-half to two times an employee’s annual salary. This includes the time and money it takes to find a replacement such as vetting candidates, screening, interviewing, and hiring, not to mention the training and ramp-up period.
And the news for those losing talent gets worse–those measurable costs don’t include the soft costs of losing a team member, such as the intellectual capital that walks out the door with the departing former employee and any employee-loyal customers that leave along with them. Bottom line: it’s expensive to lose employees, just like it’s expensive to lose customers.
The impact of satisfied employees on your bottom line
In his book, Practice What You Preach: What Managers Must Do to Create a High Achievement Culture, David Maister goes deeper into the connection between employee engagement and business profitability. His research into financial services firms included surveying employees on overall job satisfaction. Maister and his team asked some seventy questions, discovering four key questions that predicted their office’s financial performance. For these four questions alone, a 1-point difference on the 6-point rating scale correlated with a 42% average increase in financial performance. This means that when looking at two different offices that were surveyed, the office that got an average rating of 5 on each question drove 42% more profit than one that got an average rating of 4 on each question.
The questions were:
- I am highly satisfied with my job
- I have a great sense of accomplishment with my work.
- The overwhelming majority of the work I am giving is challenging rather than repetitive
- I am committed to this firm as a career opportunity.
This begs me to ask: how would your employees rate these questions?
Similarities between customer engagement and employee engagement
Last month I hosted two webinars: Do Your Customers ❤️ You Enough and Do Your Employees ❤️ You Enough. People are people, and the principles of building both customer and employee engagement and love are similar. They both take great, intentional communications; creative programs to engage, delight, and listen; and a culture that emphasizes using input from your key audiences to drive constant improvement. (Let me know if you would like me to send you a link to either recording or if you would like to be invited to our February webinars–Customers on Feb. 9 and Employees on Feb. 10.)
A loyal employee is one of your best selling points for both your customers and for your business growth. Customers can tell when an employee is happy with the organization and the work they do. The overall experience and message (spoken and unspoken) are more positive and lead to more return visits and purchases. In turn, having happy customers leads to loyalty and an increase in sales and referrals.
Engaged employees are also a source of ad hoc training and sharing of culture to new and long-standing team members. Happy employees are more likely to be more productive and show more care in their work. These employees can help recruit new employees who have similar work ethics, creating a positive cycle.
Creating an employee-first organization can feel overwhelming to start. If you are looking for ideas or want to dive deeper into customer and employee ❤️, reach out to me today to be added to our February webinars attendee list.