Friday, October 18, 2013

Employee Satisfaction or Customer Satisfaction : What's more Important?

The customer is the air, the employee is the blood of the organization.

The purpose of business is to create a customer, but the brand of business is to satisfy customer, employee and shareholders, here is another Chicken-Egg Debate: Employee Satisfaction (ES) or Customer Satisfaction (CS): what’s more important?

1. ES & CS are Inter-linked Elements of an Organization 

Employee Satisfaction (ES) is a company’s ability to fulfill the physical, emotional, and psychological needs of its employees; whereas customer satisfaction (CS) is a company’s ability to fulfill the business, emotional, and psychological needs of its customers. These two sources of information, employee satisfaction, and customer satisfaction should be linked.

In the scheme of things BOTH employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction are (1) INDISPENSABLE elements of an organization’s "strategic information architecture"; (2) Represent KEY "sensing" processes of an organization - a vehicle for "sensing" the external customer environment and "sensing" the internal employee environment. (3) No single source of information is sufficient to make effective and efficient fact-based decisions.

Having high customer satisfaction should be reflected in a dynamic, innovative and agile workplace. Most employees would be satisfied if this was the case! Therefore, this is a typical Chicken Egg debate. 

2. The Answer is based on “for whom’ and ‘what for” 

The answer to "EA or CS, which is more important" is perhaps situation driven, regarding who is your audience, and why shall you ask such question and what you are looking for:
1). If you ask get more Value...the most probable response will be...Customer Satisfaction 
2). If you ask get better Products/Services...the most probable response will be...Employee Satisfaction
3). If you ask sell their Products/Services....the most probable response will be...Employee Satisfaction
4). If you ask get more Customers for their Business...the most probable response will be...Customer Satisfaction
5). If you ask achieve Business Goals and Objectives...the most probable response will be...Employee Satisfaction
6). If you ask get more business with your company...the most probable response will be...Customer Satisfaction
The further question will be...
7) Which Stakeholder is the most important in your business?

If customers are the most important Stakeholder in your business...then...they need the Best Value Proposition (Products/Services and plus) from your Business Model. Employee Satisfaction is a key determinant for success 

3. Explore Cause & Effect rather than Trade-Offs & Priorities

Another interesting way to look at it is how companies are turned around - successfully! If one accepts that sustainable business success requires satisfied customers, and that satisfied staff is more likely to satisfy customers, then you are exploring cause and effect rather than trade-offs and priorities. Perhaps the better sets of questions include:
     (1)  What investments can we make that lead to both staff and customer satisfaction?
      (2)    Should investments focus on staff satisfaction and capability as a means to deliver customer satisfaction
      (3)     Or should investments be made directly in customer satisfaction? 
      (4)     Does an investment directly focused on improving customer satisfaction, lead naturally to more satisfied staff
  • So it is with "Employee satisfaction measurement and MANAGEMENT" as well as Customer satisfaction measurement and MANAGEMENT" - notice the emphasis in Management, because, in too many organizations, the discussion stops at measurement only because the organization merely plays a "numbers game"
  • Both are about the Culture of an organization. Both are important, however, sometimes they may not be connected as much as you think. The measures for each are very different, although typically they are subjective questions for each. For example, customer advocacy, or NPS, is a far better and more useful measure than customer satisfaction. NPS enables an organization to identify and prioritize improvements to attract those customers that can be profitable, and for whom delivering value motivates the best staff.
 From the outside-in viewpoint, the customer is the focal point; from inside-out, employees are the key to executing strategy, the successful organizations should look at both lenses, and leverage management practices in exploring cause & effect.


Employee satisfaction and Customer satisfaction both are very important things to run the business as successfully.But management of company should be treat as good level to every employees.
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