I am the customer: Jo Causon

“Disaffected staff could be turning customers away”

Research from The Institute of Customer Service reveals that just 25 per cent of UK employees feel actively engaged in their job. This has barely changed in over 20 years, and today’s customers are turning away from organisations where staff appear disengaged. The message for the boardroom is, therefore, as straightforward as it is stark: disaffected employees could be turning customers away.

Boardrooms should be making every effort to understand the link between employees and customers because employee engagement has become more important to customer satisfaction and business performance.

Customer expectations have heightened – particularly around speed, ease and convenience – meaning that their demands for personalised, authentic experiences place added pressure on customer-facing employees.

A good experience cannot be achieved through processes or the use of technology alone; it depends on motivated, committed employees who display empathy, act in the moment to solve problems and seek ways to make the customer feel valued.

Organisations must priortise employee engagement. If teams are not given the tools or environment to deliver a great customer experience, boards should not be surprised to see their customer numbers and bottom line affected.

ICS will be speaking at Utility Week’s Energy Customer conference in January. Details: events.utilityweek.co.uk/energy