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    Is There a Direct Correlation Between Employee and Customer Loyalty?

    Elizabeth Dukes

    All successful companies or organizations have their loyal customers to thank for getting them to their current positions. A return customer will always be a benefit to a business. Not only do they generate a certain amount of revenue, but their positive opinion of the business serves as a de facto Public Relations mouthpiece for all related contacts. After all, word of mouth and public opinion are some of the most powerful tools to make or break a reputation.

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    But, how do you cultivate and retain said customers? Their loyalty often reflects the level of service they receive. Positive experiences, unfortunately, aren’t as well retained as the negatives. In fact, “Consumers are 2 times more likely to share their bad customer service experiences than they are to talk about positive experiences.” -Kendall Thornton That’s why it is that much more important for the customers to have a positive experience, when dealing with a business or organization. And this responsibility lies squarely on the shoulders of the employees; the faces of the company and the direct point of contact for the customers.

    The Power of Positive Employees

    Your employees are your most valuable asset. This sounds like a cliche, but the truth of the matter is this is the reality of modern business. As companies become more public through social media campaigning and varying levels of business transparency, the front line employee is becoming a recognized and valued part of the overall team. No longer content with toiling in the shadows, employees want to be recognized for their hard work, especially the newest entries into the workforce: the Millennials. So much so that there is often more emphasis on engagement in the workplace than the financial compensation associated with the job. “They are motivated to improve themselves, the position they are in, and the organization as a whole.” -Shane Gamble

    And when the employee feels rewarded, simply for the quality of the work and work environment, their attitude reflects on the interactions with the customers. “…they are enthusiastic, kind to customers, and willing to promote to others how amazing your company and products are.” With this in mind, the employee must be equipped with the proper tools to handle the tasks lain upon them. Their frustrations with an out-of-date or ineffective system will undermine the positive nature of an organization and spreads like weeds in a garden. 42% of service agents are unable to efficiently resolve customer issues due to disconnected systems, archaic user interfaces, and multiple applications. If untended, the garden is overrun and the intended plants are choked out. Workplace, office and mobile software work to remove the weeds and grow the flowers in the corporate garden.

    Support Comes From Many Sources

    Just as the value of the employee-customer relationship must be cultivated, so must the bond between facilities team, employees, and the C-suite. This three-legged table works best when all areas recognize the value of each other. The FM team needs the C-suite to support their software choices, the success of the facilities team motivates the employees and their positive interactions with the customers improves the bottom line, which upper management is always impressed with. This symbiotic relationship is the blueprint for success.

    For example, lets assume the facilities management team is having difficulty tracking the assets and inventory of the company. Office products and tools aren’t accounted for and a general air of uncertainty becomes prevalent in the office. When the customer service employees are unsure about what tools they have at their disposal, this uncertainty begins to creep into the customer interactions. Asset Management software can identify and track the FM supplies, as well as the supplies and assets more pertinent to the employee team. Consequently, the C-suite understands the value of these facilities management software additions, when they recognize the positive direction of the bottom line.

    Championing the Brand with Ingenuity

    Ultimately, the FM team, employees, executives, and customers are all part of the success of a company or brand. That success can be directly linked in believing that all have made a great choice, in regards to where they work, whom they do business with, and the overall growth being cultivated in their organization(s).

    “Brand Champions own their company’s brand. They take responsibility and action for the brand, and sometimes that requires ruffling some feathers to get the brand where it needs to be.” -Michael Doyle

    Sometimes, the most important part of developing loyalty comes from breaking out of a preconceived business model. If an organization can be seen as an industry leader or not afraid of taking calculated risks, there may be more of a belief in sustained growth within the organization. Bold ideas and support for creative changes often lead to the innovations that excite the organization and its customers. The bonds of loyalty are, thereby, strengthened by the perceived shared decisions of these groups. Championing the brand is then cultivated from within and outside of the organization, which is a win for all involved.

    Without a doubt, a positive image of an organization can build bonds with the company and its employees, the C-suite and the employees, and the employees and customers. This triad of goodwill helps fuel positive momentum in the company and the effects are seen in the marketplace, as well as the boardroom. Make sure your employees have the proper tools in place to set the ball in motion and continue to foster creativity and responsibility amongst the staff to continue the forward progress.

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    Elizabeth Dukes

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Elizabeth Dukes

    Elizabeth Dukes' pieces highlight the valuable role of the real estate and facility managers play in their organizations. Prior to iOFFICE, Elizabeth was in sales for large facility and office service outsourcing firm.

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