Customer Experience News & Trends

Want happier customers? Make employees happier first

If you want your customers to be happier, stop trying to make them happy – and start doing more to make employees happy. Researchers say that’s the key to customer bliss. 

Harvard Business School researchers found a strong link between employee well-being and high customer satisfaction ratings. Happy employees deliver better experiences.

In particular, front-line employees who have the closest contact with customers have the biggest impact. Employees do outstanding work for customers when they:

  • are engaged with their employer
  • are challenged by their work
  • are motivated
  • like their colleagues and bosses
  • believe they’re treated fairly, and
  • are compensated well.

Treating employees well, cheering them to success and taking interest in their morale, teaches them – perhaps even subconsciously – to treat customers well.

6 tactics to improve morale

So you want many tools and techniques to show employees you care.

Here are six research-proven, manager-led practices that work:

  • Inspire. Employees want a sense of purpose. They need a leader who shows them how their efforts – including company-backed volunteer work, if possible – impact a greater good, HBR researchers found.
  • Be kind. Interaction at work needs to be more than transactional. Great managers build positive relationships with consideration, respect and interest in employees’ well being.
  • Care. Allowing and encouraging employees to take care of themselves is a key to motivating them. That means having no after-work-hours expectations, making sure they take vacation time and recognizing when they need more flexibility or a break.
  • Offer autonomy. Employees are inspired by an ability to define their own work goals and systems to achieve those, according to researcher and author Daniel Pink.
  • Give them time to be creative and purposeful. When employees are given time to progress and improve their work – until they’ve mastered it – they feel appreciated and recognized.
  • Remind them of the purpose. Employees gain a sense of pride and accomplishment when they know their work has meaning or adds value to their organization and the community.

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