Customer Service and Employee Satisfaction

Employees meeting

Customer Service and Employee Satisfaction have been hand in glove since the beginning of time. Measuring that satisfaction, however, is another story.

Since all of us have different wants, needs and perceptions, you might find yourself with several different pictures based on when you ask, what you ask and who you ask when you complete a satisfaction survey.

And, you might find that the factors that increase employee satisfaction are not the same as those that increase dissatisfaction. One does not necessarily correlate to another.

It’s also important to know the employees interest level. And basically there are four levels.

There is the survival level. I like to call this person Jungleman. They are doing everything to just maintain their job, and not much else. If you ask them to take on additional tasks, they cry foul.

They basically want to be left alone and collect a check. At the first sign of trouble, they are gone, like the wind.

Then there is the acceptance level or Suitman. They have accepted the company’s philosophy and are regular and productive employees, however, if something better comes along, they may move on to greener pastures.

At this level of interest, they want to see the company succeed, as long as they don’t have to do too much extra.

Next on the ladder is the person who sees merit in what they do or Superman. They can sing the company fight song, know the mission statement by heart, and believe in what they do wholeheartedly.

These employees make the company go. They are the best people to have in a crisis and are the first to jump in with both feet. They are loyal and steadfast.

Last is the employee whose level is what we all aspire to be. They are the self-fulfilling or Everyman level. These people know that what they do makes a difference and are the contributors and the servants of the company. Their belief is “I make a difference because I chose to make a difference.”

Every company needs a few of these people sprinkled throughout as their vision and determination is the difference between good enough and GREAT!

So the next questions is: What do your employees want?

There are several surveys you can use, some are more formal, some are online, and if you are subscribed to a survey service you can design any series of questions to measure a particular area.

One company I know wanted to gauge how employees would react to a move across town. They designed an online survey and asked employees to rate their new commute.

Keep in mind that the level of interest and job satisfaction is directly related. A person who is at the Jungleman level will not have much to say other than asking for “better pay”. They don’t really have a stake in the company compared to someone who is at the Superman level.

You may want to conduct surveys several times a year, depending on what you are trying to measure. If you are having daily interaction with staff and conducting “Attitude checks”, you probably have a good handle on things, and your survey maybe more “point specific.”

On the other hand, if you are trying to nail down a persistent problem, you may start with a wider range survey and narrow your results to the lowest common denominator by asking your employees to participate in a series of surveys.

Bottom line, although not inexorably linked, Happy Employees have the capacity to provide Better Service.

It’s up to you to implement changes based on what your survey results indicate need attention.

About the Author

Leonard Buchholz leads seminars in Customer Service, Attitude and Skills and Management. He also provides coaching and consulting in Customer Service.

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