Leveraging Employee Engagement to build Customer Engagement and drive sales

by Warren on February 15, 2012

Companies with higher levels of employee engagement are more productive, profitable, creative and efficient. They also have higher levels of customer satisfaction—a proven competitive advantage.

Most companies’ engagement efforts fail due to lack of vision, poorly articulated strategies and management communications that are ineffective and don’t lead to increased engagement. In these difficult economic times, as companies make tough decisions, keeping employees engaged becomes even more critical. As customer satisfaction is highly correlated to employee engagement, the first step in building customer loyalty is in ensuring employees are engaged. Then a comprehensive customer engagement program (marcomm, sales, PR, etc.) can begin to drive sales, as there will no longer be any disconnect between brand promise to customers and delivery on that promise by employees.

To build strong customer loyalty, it is vital to first deploy an approach that builds employee engagement and sets the stage for a customer engagement program that delivers results that have a positive financial impact on the company.

The key steps to accomplishing this outcome are:

• Achieve greater employee engagement
• Obtain real-time customer feedback
• Build an Employee Engagement/Customer Satisfaction bridge
• Create a “burning platform” for internal change that stresses the vital connection between employees and customers
• Prepare company leadership and sales/support teams to more effectively improve customer relations
• Build a practical executable program and realize quick wins

This proven approach is distinctive in that it goes beyond traditional communication programs by a) ensuring leaders are properly equipped to lead employee engagement activities/drive needed organizational change and b) focusing specifically on an empirically based situation analysis that identifies connections/gaps (correlation) between company and customer, prescribing solutions to drive engagement of both stakeholders

Employees, from top executives to sales leaders and customer support personnel need to develop an enhanced understanding of the importance of employee engagement and how it relates to and builds customer engagement and the financial advantage increased engagement will bring to their companies and customer relationships. This is not an instinctive process—management needs to develop the knowledge of what specific process steps are required to lead an effective program to support an employee/customer engagement initiative.

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