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Customer and employee satisfaction linked

SEPTEMBER 4, 2008

Once upon a time a company developed videotape-based training to teach employees how to interact with customers, listen to customers´ concerns, and show respect. The content was good but when the training program was launched, the ordinarily-passive workforce rebelled. Employees said, “Start treating us like this before you ask us to deal with customers this way.”

The company suspended the training program while it developed and then launched another, this one teaching front-line supervisors how to manage their subordinates.

‘Treat your employees as you want them to treat customers´ was the message, but too few companies recognize let alone practice this business variation on the Golden Rule. Instead the courier driver just given another runaround on a two-week-old question about company policy is still expected to get an immediate answer to a customer´s enquiry. And the receptionist just scolded in front of a lobby full of visitors is expected to give customers the respect they deserve for the rest of the day.

Not all responsibility for employee dissatisfaction rests with supervisors. Companies also need to consider the interaction between support functions and their internal employee customers. ‘How quickly does Payroll correct a pay shortage?´ and ‘How tolerant is HR of employee requests for accommodation?´ are among the many questions to be asked as organizations strive to improve customer satisfaction.


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