The Link Between Employee Engagement & Customer Satisfaction

Confirmit Team

Confirmit Team

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Confirmit’s dedicated teams work to deliver world-leading customer experience, Voice of the Employee and Market Research solutions. 

Author Bio

Understanding the benefits of employee engagement for improved customer experience

The voices of your customers and your employees are often listened to and treated entirely separately. Organizations that run Voice of the Customer and Voice of the Employee programs usually conduct them at different times, using different teams. What’s more, they’ll invariably have entirely different objectives and different KPIs against which outcomes are measured.



While any organization embracing either a VoC or VoE program should be applauded for proactively listening to its stakeholders, treating them in isolation is to miss the fundamental relationship that exists between staff and customers.

Leading-edge businesses are now starting to realize the business benefits of linking VoC and VoE, understanding that the way employees think, act and treat customers reflects the company ethos as a whole and affects the way customers perceive the brand and the people behind it.

The Inseparability of VoC and VoE

For a number of years now, businesses have recognized that measuring customer satisfaction is a key component to business success. And all good businesses know that engaged employees are their most valuable asset. What they often omit is the need to tie these two integral pieces together into a single, combined program.

This is a fundamental stumbling block to long-term business success, as studies show that engaged employees have a much better understanding of customer needs than unengaged employees – 50% better, in fact. This means that they provide better customer experience and drive greater profitability. It follows, then, that assessing and boosting the engagement of your staff, and making it part of your Voice of the Customer program, is likely to have a direct impact on your relationship with customers and the experiences they receive through your organization. 

Renowned business leader Jack Welch supported this view in a quote in Business Week Magazine in 2006, saying: “If you’re running a business, whether it’s a corner store or a multi-product multinational… there are three key indicators that really work: employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and cash flow.”

This view is as true today as it was then: it is indeed common sense that engaged employees are more likely to engender customer satisfaction, which in turn is more likely to increase cash flow. With more cash, a business is able to invest more in its employees, driving up employee loyalty and satisfaction… and so on. Why then, when we fast forward to a 2013 Temkin Group study of more than 200 customer experience professionals from large organizations, do we see participants reporting that most companies measure employee engagement but less than half place a high priority on taking action based on that feedback? 

Organizations continue to take action based on customer satisfaction levels alone, which is only one piece in the larger business puzzle. If analysts and well-known business icons are stating the importance of employee engagement for business success, why are companies not taking their advice?

The fact that companies are measuring employee engagement does demonstrate they understand, at least in principle, that connecting employees and customers is an important facet in organizational success (although many departments may be more focused on the direct impact on their own operations). However, drawing an association between the two is often where the process stops, either because it appears too difficult or too time-consuming.

Businesses that are prepared to invest the time and effort into a combined approach towards Voice of the Customer and Voice of the Employee programs can reap great rewards. Frontline employees, for example, have much greater insight as to what’s happening in stores and call centers and can usually provide much better feedback on trends than customers themselves can.

Engaging employees effectively is, therefore, crucial for two main reasons: 

  • They will be able to engage customers, provide better customer experience, and drive greater profitability. 
  • They are able to provide valuable insight into customer experience and offer a view that an organization may not derive from customer feedback alone

Leading-edge companies who understand the need to go further than annual employee surveys are now starting to build actionable employee engagement programs that also drive customer engagement. This combined approach measures the Voice of the Customer through the Employee (VoCE) and brings the theory of the close relationship between employee engagement and customer engagement to reality.

In this white paper, we examine the inextricable link between VoC and VoE and provide best practices that will drive both customer and employee engagement. In this paper you’ll learn about:

  • The business need for Voice of the Customer through the Employee (VoCE)
  • How to prove the ROI of an integrated VoC and VoE approach
  • The critical considerations for putting VoCE into practice.