Why having happy staff leads to better customer outcomes

Over several years there have been countless studies and surveys which discuss the link between how the actions of happy staff lead to happy customers. Those studies often point specifically at the role staff contentment plays, and how getting that balance right truly can drive motivation, efficiency, creativity, productivity, and dare I say it, smiles. 

As a BPO supporting thousands of our clients’ customers every year, it’s easy to agree with the content of these studies, including a recent example released by Glassdoor which highlighted that more motivated teams and individuals do in fact lead to better outcomes for customers, and ultimately, an overall higher level of customer service and confidence.  

Vitally, and what many can miss, is that creating the right culture also brings a competitive advantage for any business, supported by processes where excellent performance is rewarded and recognised, and empowerment is truly given. 

Ask yourself how many times you have found yourself on the end of the telephone needing help, but the call centre agent is clearly not interested and just going through the motions? Or how about when you have called to ask a question, only to be sent down a rabbit hole, and then calling back and speaking to a different person who is so knowledgeable and wants to find a solution for you? The feeling you are left with after the second call is noticeably different. 

It’s widely accepted that if a customer comes through to a motivated customer service team or agent, then an enhanced and personalised service will be offered by an advisor who is both engaged and willing to go further to share their knowledge and find an outcome.  

It doesn’t take a genius to conclude that can drive real and lasting loyalty from a customer, as well as influencing positive behaviour, and the likelihood they tell more people about their experience with a brand which clearly cares. 

What’s also important to consider is the role staff retention can play. Generally, those who stay with a business over a long period of time tend to be happy in their roles. The key point is how valuable longer-term employees are to a business, with their understanding and industry knowledge, often at a high level, which again leaves customers feeling they are in safe hands. The impact can be huge. 

Our own staff happiness  

Across Sigma Connected, from top to bottom, we completely understand the importance of having happy staff and the impact that brings. 

Our recent staff survey saw our highest ever participation, with 80% of staff taking part and providing a range of thoughts, feedback and comments.  

Business-wide, we have seen people genuinely wanting to share their views on a whole host of subjects, as well as areas where we need to improve on. I cannot tell you how important that is and we’re proud that overall, the survey highlights that the vast majority of our staff are happy at work and we sit above most industry benchmarks for NPS. But what impact does that have on the customer service we deliver to our clients’ customers? The answer is, a significant one. 

Summing up 

The happiness of staff is something every company should be investing in and monitoring closely. There’s not one magic solution. Instead, staff happiness hinges on a range of successful interlocking components, such as finding ways to leave staff feeling truly valued and empowered, measuring manager performance, offering the right benefit packages, investing in tools and systems, continuous training, and even considerations for flexible working. 

Here at Sigma Connected we believe in all of that, but also in protecting enrichment time for our staff and investing in their coaching and development. This really can help to build confidence, contentment and tenure which, of course, delivers better outcomes for our clients’ customers. 

Overall, there is so much to achieve and consider if any business is to send customers away happy more often than not. There’s not one silver bullet but strategies which keep smiles on the faces of staff is certainly a great place to start.

Richard Furlong

About the author

Richard Furlong is the UK’s Director of Operations for Sigma Connected overseeing over 1000 employees based across the UK. You can connect with Richard on LinkedIn.

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