Everyone and their uncle are supposedly using customer feedback to gauge their company’s customer satisfaction ratings. (Not all do, and not all do it well.) But how many companies consider employee satisfaction in the customer satisfaction argument?
Consider a simple interaction between a customer and customer-service rep or cashier or something. If the employee isn’t happy, the customer may go away with a negative customer experience.
Steve Curtin, who writes the Customer Enthusiast blog, wrote recently about a negative customer experience he had at a popular hardware chain (no names from me on this one).
Apparently, the employee at the register couldn’t have cared less about Curtin’s battery question or anything else. She lounged while Curtin went to look for the batteries (“Over there,” she told him), yawned visibly right in front of him and even complained to him.
“To my astonishment,” wrote Curtin. “She sighed loudly and said, ‘I started at 7:30 this morning and it still feels like 7:30. I’m just going to walk out of here. It’s awful. I don’t want to experience this again.”
Alrighty then. So I’m guessing she didn’t work out at the hardware store. And you can’t necessarily blame the retailer for what might just have been a bad apple. But Curtin’s experience illustrates how an unhappy employee can create an unhappy customer as well.
On the front page of Positive Sharing’s blog, Chief Happiness Officer Alexander Kjerulf has the photo of a poster from a Serbian IT company’s office, with the title Happyness at Work.
Under Happyness at Work, the poster has a column. At the top is Success=Happy with a line crossing it out. Underneath are Happy=Success, Happy=Productivity, Happy=Creativity, Happy=Motivation and Happy=Resilience.
In a post on his blog, Kjerulf lists ten indicators of unhappiness at work. Looking at his list, it’s easy to see how some of these could affect business.
How do you know when someone might be unhappy at work? From Kjerulf: they procrastinate, they get that Sunday-night pit in their stomach thinking about Monday, they’re “really competitive about salary and titles,” they don’t play nice (i.e., they don’t help coworkers), their days are “looooong,” they’re not friends with coworkers, they’re indifferent about everything, they’re bothered by small things, they’re suspicious of others or they have physical symptoms of strain (e.g., “insomnia, headaches, low energy” and others).
But how do you know if your employees are unhappy, other than trying to guess?