We have been talking a lot about the importance of paying attention to the employee if you want to improve customer service (see earlier blog). The Gallup organization, better known perhaps for its political forecasting, has a very large business consulting operation. One of the things they have been finding through their research is the connection between engaged employees and loyal customers or the employee-customer relationship.
Several books have been written by Gallup consultants on this topic (e.g., Human Sigma, First, Break All the Rules, among others). To highlight one finding that is truly eye opening; Gallup found that for the typical business-to-business company, only 13% of customers were actively engaged. Think about the lost opportunities. But to really engage the other 87% of customers, employees have to be engaged as well.
There is an interesting interview with Ed Boyle, a Global Practice Leader at Gallup. Click here to read it. He makes some really good points on the necessity of making those employee-customer encounters really positive.