Recently I received the results of two surveys. The first was a survey of our employees in the Salt Dubai office, the second a survey of customer satisfaction from our clients and candidates.

I was really proud when I saw that the results on both were broadly positive with a 5/5 score from the employees and a strong promoter score from our MENA customers. Normally at this point, I would give the team a pat on the back and we’d go about our business.

However this morning I thought perhaps there is a deeper correlation between the two results that would be worth exploring.

It’s common knowledge that happy employees will sell with more passion, give more energy and be more committed to positive results to their customers. What is often underlooked is how a happy client base leads to a happy team. The result of this dynamic is a virtuous cycle that leads to a genuine competitive advantage for a firm. Searching for insight I reviewed an article from Bain and Company on the topic:

The article mentions that employee happiness of itself does not necessarily generate returns for shareholders. However, when the engagement is due to the employee delivering quality work for their clients and receiving praise for doing so there is a commercial benefit. The win-win interchange demonstrated by this model (see image below) leads to practical recommendations for management. The model works both from a supplier point of view but also from the Buyers perspective (a happy supplier leads to a happy buyer).

Some examples of behaviour checkpoints from this model include:

Management, back office and sales must work together to ensure customer satisfaction. Unhappy clients due to hard line or inflexible management/back office policies are likely to lead to unhappy employees on the frontlines.

There must be a route whereby clients can give feedback on the service they have received. Formal surveys are ok for this, however, we have found informal contact by other team members or management with the client that allows the client to sing the praises of the consultant are far more powerful.

Encouraging your team to ‘go the extra mile’ for a client will lead to not only an initial spike in customer satisfaction but will make your team feel great when they get positive feedback as well! One positive client comment could positively impact their actions with their entire client base.

Any unhappiness in the team must be tackled quickly and effectively. It doesn’t matter if the source of unhappiness is work related or not, an unhappy team member will lead to lower client satisfaction quickly. To make this a reality, managers more and more need to take on the role of life coaches to support their team. A great manager will have the trust and openness that their team feel willing to discuss any issues openly and frankly so as to minimise work impact.

Overall this model reminds me of the human condition that what happens on the inside, in the long run, will always show on the outside. This is as true for an individual as well as for organisations. 

Here's hoping everyone reading this has a Happy Week, Month, Year and that this underpins great results for your clients!