What is the link between customer satisfaction and employee motivation

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Does employee motivation comes first or customer satisfaction. Flickr image by the Wanderer's Eye Photography.


I bet you’re familiar with this conundrum – did the chicken appear on earth first or the egg?

Actually the answer is pretty easy. Whether you’re a believer in creation or random evolution, the answer is the same.

But this article is not about discussing this issue. However, if you buy me a round I would discuss the answer. But I must warn you it can be boringly philosophical/theological. :)

What got my mind on this track was the release recently of “The Worst Companies To Work For” in the US. I was shocked when I saw some of the names of these companies. You’d recognise some if not all too.

The report was compiled by 24/7 Wall St. They got the data off of Glassdoor. It’s only 9 companies on this list, and so sadly, all of them are B2C companies. Huffington Post created a slide show of these companies, which you can view here.

So what causes these companies to stack up at the bottom of the pile?

One reason is that employees are straining to satisfy customers, according to a Glassdoor representative.

Guess what the solution to boosting your exmployees’ job satisfaction is?


Well that's what the same Glassdoor person said and based it on the experiences of Nordstrom.

I guess from these comments, the answer to the title of this article is that it’s either a vicious cycle or a virtuous cycle.

If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys (just a metaphor).

These "monkeys" will in turn offload their issues onto your customers and then your company reputation will sink into the ground.

When your reputation stinks, you’ll attract stinky workers too. And so the vicious cycle perpetuates, until the company collapses one day from sheer lack of customers.

Of course, it’s too simplistic to just give all credit to training only.

If you employ the wrong person, no amount of training will rescue him.

So here’s my 4RightsTM formula. If you employ the Right Employees, give them the Right Training, provide Right Performance management and finally the Right Reward, your employees will be motivated and this will transferred to your customers and your business reputation will surge.

And so with a great reputation you become a super staff magnet. This virtuous circle feeds on itself.

But in order for you to create this virtuous circle, you need to start with the end in mind (to take a line from the 7 Habits of Effective People).

What’s the end?

A 5-star reputation.

Only with that in mind when you start your company or run your organisation will you use the 4RightsTM formula.

Seems so simple and it’s not even a ninja technique but the worst companies are clueless. None of these things are new. Business is not the art of being creative but the science of doing the boring stuff correctly everyday. Brilliant execution trumps creativity anytime.

How long do you think these 9 companies will last, if they persist on this trajectory?

Watch this video for a quick take away on how to motivate your employees…

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Do you have anything to add to these findings? Comment below...


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