Customer satisfaction is an integral part of a company’s success, as a satisfied customer returns for multiple purchases. They will usually post about their experience online, tell their friends, or generally want to continue supporting the company. However, customer retention can often hinge on employee job satisfaction. After all, an employee’s overall well-being reflects on the company in various ways. For a company looking to retain its customers, job satisfaction is an important thing they will first consider.
The Perspective of an Expert
Christopher Groening works at the Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business as an assistant marketing professor. He offered his insight on the matter. Then, he explained how a continued emphasis on customer satisfaction leads businesses to offer their employees with unsatisfactory working conditions.
He said that many company owners get tunnel vision, focusing specifically on customer retention and loyalty strategies. These strategies take top precedent, as they are no longer focusing on their employees their working environment. Even if the company works in an industry where its employees will rarely interact with customers, looking after them can still boost customer loyalty and satisfaction.
A good example worth looking at is a company like Activision Blizzard. More specifically, how its fans reacted to its very serious allegations of work place misconduct.
The Activision Blizzard Situation
Activision Blizzard was once one of the most respected and beloved game development studios in the industry. They created multiple classics and fan favorites such as Overwatch, Warcraft, Starcraft, Heroes of the Storm. But in the past two years, the company’s intensely misogynistic work culture reared its head, showing a deeply problematic side of the company. Fans on social media responded by criticizing them, calling the company out for protecting the people responsible for fostering this toxic work environment.
The fan backlash brought about two walkouts staged by the employees, and player numbers for their games dropping by a significant margin. Following all of the news around its misconduct, even major shareholders pulled out of the company. Stock prices for the company fell to the lowest they ever had in its history, and the company would eventually be consolidated to Microsoft.
The Activision Blizzard situation is a good case study of how a company focuses on maximizing customer retention and leaving employees to deal with a very toxic work environment. Loyal players and a high-profile guild in their star MMO left, and people generally do not think kindly of them. Customers do not want employees to be treated poorly at all, regardless of why a company does so.
Smaller Companies Should Be Especially Careful
Understandably, the example mentioned above is by no means a small company. Activision Blizzard brings in billions in revenue every successive year, they are easily one of the biggest companies in the world. However, this is also a major concern for smaller companies, especially where customer and employee interaction is constant.
Customers care deeply about the companies that they support, especially if the firm aligns with their values. And when they find out that a company is not treating their workers with respect or care, they will not be willing to return. And if an employee works as a teller or interacts with the customers regularly, customers will usually tell if the employee is receiving proper treatment.
Improving Customer Retention by Improving Employee Satisfaction
CEOs play an integral role in retaining customers, even if it does not seem like it. Depending on how the CEO interacts with their employees, they could greatly affect employee morale, which could in turn affect customer repurchasing. With that in mind, here are a few ways that owners and CEOs can improve employee satisfaction.
Create a Better Working Environment
One of the most effective ways to improve employee satisfaction is to improve their working environment. If employees have to deal with a toxic manager or an uncooperative employee, their performance will suffer. Squash out any issues regarding misconduct instantly and make sure that your employees feel safe.
Hire Better Managers
It’s not uncommon to have one or two bad apples in a firm who are underperforming. Still, consistently poor performance from employees under a manager could be a sign that they are not a good fit. The manager should act as a mentor to the employees and offer them advice on how to improve.
Empowering employees and making them feel valued is always an effective way to increase job satisfaction. Giving them the tools necessary for them to make critical decisions or to handle issues without intervention can show them that the company cares. And offering other intangible benefits like shorter workdays and flexible hours can make them feel more satisfied with their job.
Increased Employee Satisfaction Increases Customer Retention
Your customers are an important part of the business, but you shouldn’t focus on them to the point where you let your employees suffer.