Study finds link between employee attitudes and customer loyalty

by: Nichole Gunn January 11, 2012

A new study of employee attitudes and their impact on customer loyalty and the overall bottom line of business implies there is a connection between how a company's employees act and the actions of customers.

According to HR.BLR.com, the study, conducted by researchers at the University of Missouri, found that U.S. consumers are strongly influenced by the attitudes of the employees where they do business. Furthermore, successful companies understand the link that exists between customer loyalty and employee satisfaction and use it to improve the company's bottom line.

“You might think that as an owner, you only need to pay attention to the customers, providing them with what they want," said Christopher Groening, co-author of the study. "Yet, we found that keeping your employees satisfied with their work experience, providing them with challenges and allowing them to have a sense of ownership in the business can have a tremendous effect on customer satisfaction and loyalty.”

One way a company can improve the overall productivity and morale of its workforce is to implement an employee incentive program. But businesses that don't have the means to offer such a program can yield positive results simply by strengthening communication with their employees.

"[Management is] not a one-way street where companies implement policies and can expect to experience gains solely through customer service,” Groening said. “The relationships among the CEO, the employees and the customers are all linked. It’s important for CEOs to know that they can have a large impact on customer service without ever talking with a customer or implementing a new customer service policy.”

Business owners looking for a more inexpensive alternative to implementing a reward or incentive program may want to consider the free National Employee Attitude Survey offered to the human resources community by Business & Legal Resources.

Those who would rather focus on customer loyalty and satisfaction rather than employee morale and productivity may want to consider three building blocks of an effective customer loyalty program detailed by BizReport. Offering what the customer needs instead of free goods or services, building loyalty from detailed data analysis, and using social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook are all effective ways for any merchant to foster customer loyalty and create brand awareness.


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