Employee Loyalty = Customer Loyalty = Financial Success

July 22nd, 2011

We’ve all been to that coffee shop. Every week there’s a different overly-pierced twenty-something behind the counter. You wish your experience was more like an episode from “Cheers” where you walk in and everyone says “Norm!” (even if that’s not really your name) and the employee already knows what you want and has it ready by the time you reach the counter. Or if you don’t have a “usual,” you at least wish the employees stayed long enough to learn your name and greet you with sincerity. The biggest key to creating everlasting sales is to build customer loyalty. The first step to customer loyalty is employee loyalty. Customer loyalty is all about an emotional connection – relationships between customers and employees/products/services. High employee turnover kills credible relationships with customers. Every business with high employee turnover seems to have some sort of excuse for it. “We’re a college town so kids go home for the summer,” or “It’s a stepping stone for the next best job,” or “We don’t have the money to pay annual bonuses and raises.” But none of those excuses require high turnover rates. Employees, no matter their age or career level, will find a reason to stay with your company … if they love their jobs. Even cashiers, servers, and call center agents can indeed love their jobs for reasons other than money. How can you use this to your advantage? Focus on how your managers treat employees. Make each employee a manager of their own destiny and of their customers’ happiness. Give them a little bit of freedom and watch it go a long way. Employee satisfaction isn’t about monthly pizza parties and employee discounts (though those don’t hurt). It’s about genuine respect. Just like every customer, if an employee feels important, they’ll stay loyal. The longer an employee stays with a company, the better they become at their job, the better they understand their products, and the better they will be at satisfying customer needs. As they stay loyal, turnover is reduced. As employee turnover is reduced, costs decline. The result: loyal employees, better served customers, lower costs. Plus, with loyal employees, you create loyal customers, which produce higher long-term revenue.