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How Engaged Employees Create Loyal Customers

It doesn’t take a Sherlock Holmes to find the mysterious correlation between engaged employees and customer loyalty. According to Bain Insights in a Forbes article, it’s a battle of wits to keep customers coming. What your company needs is a strategy that takes advantage of employee engagement (intrinsic motivation). Highly engaged employees are more likely to deliver better service to customers, to stay longer with the company (reduced turnover), and to spread good messages / good will to all. The engaged employee basically takes on an essential function of marketing.

Work for Engagement and it will Work for You

Need more solid evidence? A Hay Group study found that companies with engaged employees outperform their non-engaged counterparts by a ratio of two and a half to one! Like a well-loved garden, give your workforce a sense of purpose, autonomy, space to advance within the enterprise, and affiliation, and just watch your organization grow its revenues. But again, like a garden, this will require sweat of the brow and perseverance:

While the benefits of high engagement are clear, there’s no doubt that it’s tough to achieve. Among a broad group of global companies Bain surveyed in late 2010, only a minority of employees (34% in North America and 19% in Europe) said they would recommend working at their company to a friend or relative.

Direct Enthusiasm at the Customer

Once you’ve got employees rallied around you, the next step is applying that enthusiasm to the customer. An engaged employee will be more willing and able to accept customer feedback. Companies like Jet Blue pride themselves in leading their industry by focusing intensely on customer response.

And employees who are first intrinsically motivated will more likely respond to extrinsic motivation, in this case performance metrics. The telecommunications provider Belgacom ditched its old “handle time” metrics in favor of customer promotion and first-call issue resolution. As these examples show, customer advocacy is about employee engagement. It’s elementary, dear Watson.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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