Businesses are bound to crash once their customers are repeatedly turned off by their experiences with the employees to the point they seek alternatives. In order for your company to grow, you have to ensure positive customer experiences are the norm with your staff – not the exception, because happy employees create happy customers.
We have all been there at some point in our lives – working a job that simply drained your drive and motivation all day and was a complete struggle just to get through each day. Maybe it was a toxic work environment, maybe you didn’t get enough tools and training to do your job or perhaps you were not receiving any recognition and appreciation from your manager.
Whatever the reasons, you were unhappy, disengaged, and knew deep in your heart that you needed to leave that job immediately.
Employee unhappiness is, unfortunately, one of the most unrelenting problems in the corporate world. Many companies are dealing with unhappy, unengaged employees. Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace report showed that just 33% of employees are engaged at work (and even the world’s best organisations reached only 70%). Gallup also found that negative employees scare off your customers.
Furthermore, the cost of workers who do not commit to their work fully is very high for companies. Disengaged employees cost American companies around $450 to $550 billion a year. Kansas State University found that 100 unhappy employees cost $390,000 per year due to lost productivity.
Companies that have happy employees show 147% higher earnings per share than their competitors.
The problem is that disengagement or unhappiness often go unnoticed until it’s too late. Many organisations only get to find out just how unhappy and unengaged their employees are after their brand has been ruined far beyond repair in the eyes of the customers.
Companies need to pay more attention to diagnosing disengaged workers early. They must understand that the way an employee feels about their job is reflected in both their work and their interactions with customers.
A study by James Fowler of UC San Diego and Nicholas Christakis of Harvard Medical School suggests that bad moods are contagious. On the flip side, studies have found that those who are surrounded by happy people are 15% more likely to be happy themselves.
Simply put, if your employees hate going to work are still required to wear a happy face to interact with your customers, your customers will slowly but surely pick up on the mood and it’s only be a matter of time before the negativity turns them away.
An engaged customer service representative is positive, attentive and motivated with a warm smile as a cherry top and this is what it takes to make a customer happy. Keep in mind that that feelings, be they positive or negative, easily flow from one person to another, often subconsciously. It is therefore key to make sure your employees are always transmitting positive human emotions to your customers.
Investing in the happiness of your workers translates into happy customers more willing to shop with you more. To elaborate, the following reasons show why happy employees make happy customers:
They build better relationships with customers
When an employee has a positive attitude towards their work and is fully engaged, that positive attitude naturally spills over into their customer relationships. Happy employees easily strive to deliver high quality service with a lot of consistency, resulting in increased customer happiness and loyalty.
Keep in mind that it takes presence, attentiveness, and attitude to create and build the strong customer relationships that separate successful companies from mediocre ones. When an employee is happy in their workplace, they are not only far less likely to miss work (presence), they are also more likely to handle customer needs faster (attentiveness) and with much more positivity at that (attitude).
They are more creative with their customer service
Employee-customer interaction is not scripted roleplay. In a world of rapidly changing customer preferences and increasing corporate competition, the creativity with which your employees approach their jobs can become the deciding factor between your company’s growth and stagnation.
Innovative thinking is an important skill for your employees because your customer service staff is the first representative of your business that customers interact with. Happiness contributes to the creative ability of your staff because a happy employee has more mental room to come up with fresh ideas and their mind is more likely to take on new challenges with gusto and enthusiasm and such happy employees make happy customers.
They provide more knowledgeable service
Happy employees tend to stay with a company much longer. Not only is employee retention good for the business (think about the additional costs you will have to face when hiring a new worker such as the cost of advertising or interviewing, the cost of onboarding and training, the cost of errors as well as time for adjusting and etc.) but it’s good for the customer as well.
Employees who have spent longer working at your company have more experience and knowledge to use in providing better customer service. And when customers receive more knowledgeable service, they have a better experience and are more likely to do business with you again. It is too much of a headache and most of the times not worth the hassle to keep hiring and training new employees.
They put the company’s best face forward
In the same vein that having a positive attitude enables great customer service, employee happiness also inspires extra commitment to the the company and fosters a genuine interest in its success.
Happy employees are more inspired and innovative, and will often go the extra mile to deliver an exceptional customer experience. They are very key to building a strong reputation, brand image, and competitive advantage.
Ever since the “customer is king” phrase was coined, most companies have been prioritising keeping their customers happy, and that’s great. However, managers must not forget about another set of people to whom happiness is very vital for the success of the company – employees! Unhappy employees make unhappy customers and happy employees make happy customers.