Customer Satisfaction Starts with Engaged Employees

Lauren Krause
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In an age of online review sites, customer satisfaction is crucial for businesses. With a single click, an unhappy customer can damage a company's reputation. When you are looking to build a sustainable, long-term customer service system, start with employee engagement.

Customer service is the end of a long pipeline that begins and ends with employees. If your employees are unhappy with their jobs or the company, they are unlikely to have the motivation to provide excellent service. If, on the other hand, they are happy and invested in the company, you are likely to see better performance. An engaged employee believes strongly in the company and feels a personal connection to its success. As a result, he is more likely to work harder and make an extra effort for customers.

Employee engagement is not an easy or simple process. In some cases, it takes years to build. A number of factors contribute to employee engagement, including job security, compensation and communication. In other words, your company must be an excellent place to work for everyone from new hires to long-term workers.

Your managers and supervisors also play a significant role in the process. A great manager has strong relationships with each team member, facilitates open communication and takes responsibility for employee engagement.

Empowerment is an enormous part of employee engagement. Your employees must understand that they have the authority to make decisions during interactions with customers. In order to ensure that those decisions are beneficial, according to the Gallup Business Journal, you must first instill in employees a strong sense of the company's mission and vision. If, for example, your staff understands that the company mission is to help customers save time, they might take the initiative to send a replacement part or dispatch a service technician. Instead of micromanaging or providing specific solutions for every service situation, you must trust the intelligence and abilities of your staff. In the process, you will tap into their intelligence and innovation. When your employees are empowered, they have the freedom to come up with creative solutions that increase customer satisfaction.

When companies achieve a high level of employee engagement, excellent customer service is a natural by-product. After all, when your staff members feel connected to the company and invested in its performance, they are more likely to go above and beyond the call of duty to keep customers happy. At that point, great service is a natural response for every person in the company, from the person that sweeps the floors to the CEO.

When you manage to strike the right balance between employee engagement and individual empowerment, the results can be dramatic, both in terms of customer happiness and overall business performance. By investing in your employees and creating a culture of trust, you can build a company that lasts.

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