The rules of competition are changing. Before, price and product were the defining factors that gave your company a competitive advantage against your marketplace rivals. Today, in an age where hundreds of similar products can be accessed at one’s fingertips, customer service and customer experience is the key brand differentiator. At the forefront of customer satisfaction is employee satisfaction.
With Customer Service Week kicking off the month of October, many managers are using this month to focus on improving their customer service. It’s been found that satisfied employees are likely to assist customers with a more pleasant demeanor and a higher level of customer loyalty, which ultimately drives increased profitability. Conversely, low employee satisfaction and overall low employee morale can negatively affect company operations, causing dissatisfied customers and hurt profitability.
Case Study: McDonald’s
Last Year, McDonald’s shared with Business Insider that their sales are soaring after two years of decline, attributing its success to improving customer satisfaction. The main complaints that McDonald’s was facing company-wide were: inaccurate drive-thru orders and slow service. The two go hand and hand – the time wasted fixing one customer’s inaccurate order increase the wait time imposed on other customers.
McDonald’s quest for growth naturally required a commitment to customer service. The company recognized the link between happy, knowledgeable employees and happy, satisfied customers, and knew it had to make a change to re-engage and motivate its employees to perform at their best. Understanding that pay is a key motivator to their employees, company-owned stores increased their wages by $.99 an hour. The company also introduced the opportunity to earn paid vacation time. These tactics have created happy, more loyal employees, which lead to more pleasant interactions with their customers – and other employees.
The increase in employee satisfaction and loyalty has already lead to longer tenure within McDonald’s, which results in a greater ability to accumulate product and process knowledge and thus a greater ability to efficiently and effectively serve customers. Their customer satisfaction score has increased by 6% compared to the previous year, and they have enjoyed three consecutive quarters of growth in same-store sales, bringing an end to two years of declines.
If your employees feel appreciated and valued, they will likely be more pleasant and show a greater willingness to assist each customer and ensure their customer interactions are handled in accordance with the high standards set forth by your company. Be sure to listen to their needs and empower them to take care of your customers.
When your employees are struggling through with one of life’s challenges, they will not perform at their best. Your Employee Assistance Program gives them access to resources so they can better manage what life throws their way, and provide better customer service to your organization. Ask your EFR account manager for ways to further promote your EAP benefit to your employees today.