While the two are often looked upon as separate entities, the truth is that customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction are both very similar. Both are crucial for a successful business, both rely on proactive efforts by the part of the organization in order to stay strong, and both often have a variety of similarities in how they impact long-term revenue.
At this point, there is little doubt that employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction are related. Indeed, there is substantial evidence that, while customer satisfaction is possible without employee satisfaction, many organizations benefit significantly from improving the satisfaction of their employees.
Employee satisfaction has been linked to customer satisfaction in two different ways:
Direct is a more traditional link. Employees that come into direct contact with customers are more likely to bring positive value to the customer experience, ultimately leading to higher customer satisfaction. While according to some studies, employees may still provide excellent customer service even if they are not happy with their organization, one can still argue that an employee that provides outstanding customer service will likely leave a company in which they are unhappy. This, in turn, would lead to worse customer service. In any case, there is little denying that a high satisfaction employee directly brings benefits to the customer.
Indirectly the reasoning is not as clear, but it can be argued that an employee that has a greater level of satisfaction with their organization is more likely to put more effort into their work. This, consequently, improves service/product quality and brings more value to the customer. While not a 100% definitive relationship, satisfied employees should be reasonably more productive. Additionally, lower turnover of these employees should keep the product line moving without any significant obstacles. All these bring value to the customer, which in turn enhances the customer experience.
Irrespective of the reasons, there is a strong link between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction that cannot be overlooked. Both are important for the long-term success of your business, which is why you will always need to target both if you want to see any evident changes in your business. Customer satisfaction may have a range of causes, but unless you are also able to complement it with proactive employee satisfaction, you are unlikely to see any long-term benefits for your organization’s revenue stream.