Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Want Engaged Customers? Then Engage Your Employees!

In today’s challenging economy, companies must deliver a compelling and differentiated customer experience if they are to survive and thrive. Indeed, most companies understand they need to actively engage their customers to build loyalty, deepen relationships, and gain access to insights that inspire future actions.
As the pace of business has slowed over the last several years, companies have redoubled efforts to engage their customers—to keep the ones they have and bring in new ones. To achieve these goals, however, employees must first be engaged—committed, enthusiastic, and motivated to provide the interactions and experiences that keep customers close. As many as 83 percent of managers consider employee engagement to be a critical factor in attracting and retaining customers, according to research by the American Society for Training and Development.
Unfortunately, just as companies are driving to engage their customers, they also have taken cost-cutting measures that have had a chilling effect on employee morale. A Towers and Perrin report indicates that 72 percent of companies have reduced their workforces in response to the recession. It’s not surprising that the number of “actively disengaged” workers has risen to as much as 24 percent in companies where layoffs have occurred, according to Watson Wyatt’s Employee Engagement Index. One of the biggest concerns for employers is the number of workers intending to change jobs when the economy improves.
So what can these companies do? Despite the turmoil and uncertainty in the current environment, there are steps employers can take to re-engage employees and simultaneously rise to the challenge of engaging customers in a way that will help them retain market share and grow business.
Read the full story at: http://www.trainingmag.com/article/want-engaged-customers-then-engage-your-employees

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