Employee Engagement: The Extra Mile to Customer Loyalty

The ultimate goal…

Excellent financial results, the ultimate goal in business, are strongly connected to the degree of loyalty among a company's customer base. Many companies have therefore focused strongly on their net promoter score (NPS), and as a result, many have started various continuous improvement initiatives all with one common goal: increasing NPS.

Customer experience as a loyalty driver

One key element in driving customer loyalty is delivering a world-class customer experience. A Forrester report published this month states that customer experience matters more to loyalty than price and the Temkin Group also correlates customer experience with loyalty, stating that for companies to become customer experience leaders they need to master four core competencies:

  • Purposeful leadership
  • Compelling brand values
  • Customer connectedness
  • Employee engagement

Out of these four competencies, employee engagement is most often neglected...

Employee engagement, all too often neglected

Kahn originally defined personal engagement in 1990 as, “the harnessing of organisation members’ selves to their work roles”. In other words if employees are engaged while at work, they may be more likely to identify with the roles they assume. As such, employee engagement drives employee commitment to the goals of the organisation.

This commitment can be observed in various ways:

  • Engaged employees are 2x more likely to go the extra mile, to do something good for the organisation that is not expected from them
  • Engaged employees are 3x more likely to make improvement suggestions
  • Engaged employees are 6x more likely to help their organisation succeed

Employee engagement has been linked to customer loyalty and strong financial results by Bain & Co in their Promoter Flywheel (TM) concept and by Temkin Group in what they call the Employee Engagement Virtuous Cycle.

The rationale being the fact that engaged employees engage customers by delivering a great customer experience, which drives loyalty and ultimately financial results.

In summary: engaged employees and loyal customers go hand in hand towards strong financial results.

As such employee engagement can be an extremely powerful success factor, which -in my opinion- cannot be neglected. Best of all, this great power to be successful lives within the organisation itself; all it takes is the right focus on to unleash it:

To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace

- Doug Conant, former CEO of Campbell’s Soup

So what are your thoughts? In your organisation, does employee engagement receive the attention it deserves?

Bart de Craene
Bart de Craene

Bart works for the European headquarters of Waters Corporation and is responsible for customer experience management within the EMEA region. He also runs the successful Customer Service Insights blog (http://insight.bartdecraene.net/), a mix of selected web resources and personal views on customer service. In April ’13, Bart was voted 11th top customer service tweeter by judges at Callcentre.co.uk. You can follow him @bartdecraene

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