Employee Loyalty = Customer Loyalty

“Culture is the secret sauce for some of today’s most innovative and competitive companies.”
Futurist, Blake Norman

We’ve always known it. Culture eats strategy for breakfast, and we’re now seeing the evidence that proves it.

New research from Gallup conducted in 73 countries with 2 million employees starkly demonstrates a number of strong links between employee satisfaction and business performance. However, it was the business performance attribute of customer loyalty that emerged as having an exponentially strong correlation with employee wellbeing.

Is the implication that loyal and happy employees mean loyal and happy customers? It certainly makes a lot of sense. As humans, it is the positive relationships with our loved ones as well as with our colleagues, customers, partners, and suppliers that we prize so highly for our wellbeing and growth.

This is why we see so much short term and long term benefit for organisations that improve how they get closer to customers, orienting themselves around them, and becoming obsessed with understanding and serving them better than ever. 

This galvanising mission around customers is truly powerful for employees to engage in. And the more engaged they are, the more magnetic they become to customers - whether they are behind the front-line or not. 

How to do it? Three steps.

1. Brief your teams to get close to customers

They will dig into the root causes of the current challenge space. Have them ask questions such as...

  • “What are customers’ finding most frustrating about our service?”
  • “How would customers achieve their goal if our service didn’t exist?”
  • “What barriers are employees facing in serving customers well? 

2. Experiment with changes

With root causes understood, solutions can be trialled. They could be changes to operating processes, partnership policies, or customer facing services. This is a powerful, action-oriented way to nurture a real sense of organisational empathy with the whole organisation and its ecosystem. 

3. Measure

Obsess with gathering feedback. Study KPIs such as customer order completion rates, returning customer figures and capture baselines from call centre reports, digital analytics, and survey reports. Look at staff churn figures, absence records and survey feedback. Measure Operational Agility - a team’s ability to respond to constantly changing customer expectations. This can be easily monitored through the speed of project completions.

Orient improvement around building great customer and employee relationships, and a piece of the employee/customer loyalty powerline could be yours.

This requires a new blend of working with customers AND working with employees, harmoniously. And it’s only in an environment of authenticity, empathy, and deep care, where this blend can thrive and evolve.

If this sounds like a great culture (and great fun!), it could just eat your strategy for breakfast.

Daniel heads up the Home & Work team at cxpartners that delivers award winning employee experience and customer experience projects for clients such as Marriott, Hertz, and Google. His expertise is in how Service Design, as an experience-oriented lens on innovation, is becoming a critical factor in delivering competitive business performance.