Company Culture

To Improve Your Customer Service, Start With Your Employees

By Adrienne SmithMay 4, 2017

The experience a customer has with your company, positive or negative, has immense power over your business. In fact, seven out of ten consumers will spend around 13% more money with a company that provides a top-notch customer experience.

But how can you most effectively improve customer satisfaction? Start by looking to your employees. The power of happy employees engaging positively with your customers is hard to ignore. As Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, said: “Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.”

While there are many ways to improve the customer experience — from discounts to loyalty programs — their interactions with your team are most impactful; over 80% of US consumers prefer dealing with human beings.

We’ve outlined the specific ways your employee experience impacts your customer experience. To help you hit the ground running, we’ve also highlighted some resources at the bottom of the post.

How Employee Experience Impacts Customer Experience

Happy employees are engaged employees, and vice versa. They feel valued by their company and committed to doing their best work.

The benefits to employees feeling this way are myriad: they’re more productive and committed, and often more likely to stay at your company — all of which positively affects the experience your customers have with your company.

Increased Productivity

Highly engaged employees are twice as likely to be top performers than their less engaged coworkers. Why? Your employees’ happiness has an incredible effect on their work — happy employees generally see a 12% spike in productivity. You’ll often find that happy employees are more creative and more inclined to collaborate with others, as well as more likely to tackle problem solving with confidence.

When interacting with customers, this increased productivity can shorten turnaround time for queries, increase creativity in problem solving, and lead to a higher success rate securing satisfactory answers.

Improved Morale

In order to be happy (and therefore more productive and engaged) at work, the Harvard Business Review says employees tend to look for three things in their employers:

  1.  A meaningful vision of the future, one that connects the employee’s vision to the organization’s.
  2.  A sense of purpose to the employee’s work.
  3.  Positive relationships with open lines of communication.


When companies prioritize these initiatives in order to improve employee morale, the employees return the favor. Happy employees become emotionally committed to their work’s success, approach conversations with a positive attitude
and are more open to different perspectives.

These behaviors translate directly to a better customer experience. Just as employees want positive, constructive relationships at work, so do customers with their products or services. Most customers are willing to pay more for that experience. Eighty percent of U.S. consumers would pay more for a product or service to ensure a higher customer experience, according to a study by the White House Office of Consumer Affairs.

Stronger Retention Rates

According to this survey from Glassdoor, 53% of employees would stay longer with their current employer if they felt more appreciation from those above them. Strong retention rates have the power to benefit both your employees and your customers.

Simply put, employees are more engaged when they’re in a stable environment with lower turnover. Your employees’ relationships with coworkers and knowledge of your product or service only improves the longer their tenure at your company. You’ll also often find that longer-term employees show more loyalty to your company’s mission.

That employee engagement directly impacts customer loyalty — customer retention rates are around 18% higher when employees are highly engaged. Why? Customers can enjoy stable and ongoing relationships with their representatives when the organization’s turnover is low. And a customer’s satisfaction improves when their problems are solved by someone with experience on the product and their history.

Get Started Improving Employee Engagement

Engaged employees show more productivity, happiness, and commitment to their jobs — all of which positively translates to their relationships with your customers.

So… how do you improve employee engagement? Check out the library of helpful resources on the blog that speak to the importance of employee engagement and how to improve it at your organization:

  • Your Employee Engagement Toolbox — Consider this post a starter kit for driving engagement. It walks through concrete solutions to begin engaging employees and getting the whole company on the same page.
  • Grow Employee Engagement with Managers Who Are Excellent At Managing — If you’re wondering where to start to improve engagement, look to your frontline managers. As the backbone of your business, they are front and center in engaging their teams and fostering learning.
  • Increase Employee Retention with Career Pathing — It’s simple: invest in your employees’ career development and you’ll motivate your employees to invest in their career with you. This post walks through how.
  • Actively Maintain A Mentoring Program — Putting support systems in place, like mentoring programs, shows you’re committed to fostering employee growth. This post walks through what an effective mentoring program requires.
Adrienne Smith

Adrienne Smith

About the Author

Adrienne is a writer, editor, and content marketer from New York. She's passionate about creating equal opportunity in the workplace.

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