As a business, it’s essential to focus on your target audience and to come up with ways to attract new customers. However, it’s just as important to retain your existing customers. Loyalty is crucial for business growth.
One of the best ways to build up customer loyalty actually relies on your employees. You could have the greatest marketing strategy in the world, but if your company is filled with unhappy workers, it’s going to show in the way your brand presents itself.
When you recognize your employees and value their work, they’re going to put more time, effort, and care into how they treat clients and customers. Satisfaction will be their top priority. The more satisfied your customers are, the more your business will thrive.
The connection between employee recognition and customer loyalty is stronger than you might think. Let’s take a look at why it’s so important, and how you can take initiative to improve both.
What Is Customer Loyalty?
If you spent all of your time and effort trying to constantly attract new customers to your business, you wouldn’t ever reach a sustainable level of success. Your goal should be to attract new customers, keep them, and let them tell their friends and family how great you are.
Customer loyalty is a sustained relationship between your brand and your customers. Not only do loyal customers make exclusive purchases from your business, but they’re more likely to serve as ambassadors for your brand. They’ll promote your products, engage with your business, and boost your word-of-mouth advertising.
Plus, you’re far more likely to make a sale with an existing customer than with a new one. The probability of closing a sale with an existing customer is 60-70%, compared to 5-20% with new customers. Although customer loyalty is an abstract concept, it can be measured through sales, and engagement and purchasing patterns. With these numbers, you can determine who your strongest customers are, so you can cater your marketing endeavors toward them.
How Happy Employees Boost Customer Loyalty
It’s pretty easy to see why customer loyalty is so important, but what do your employees have to do with it? Obviously, you don’t want disgruntled employees working directly with your customers, but it can be hard to believe that your employees have that big of an impact.
There are several ways employee appreciation leads to happier, more satisfied customers. First, when you show appreciation and room for growth, your employees are more likely to be excited about their possible interactions with customers. Give them new responsibilities and encourage climbing the ladder within the company. The more opportunities you provide, the more motivated your workers will be to do their best.
Other endeavors that can cause your employees to provide greater customer service include:
- Rewards and recognition;
- Training and mentorship;
- Having your trust and support;
- Employee engagement programs.
Anything that can motivate your employees to grow within your company will improve their connection with customers. They won’t view their jobs as “stagnant,” and they’ll understand how their hard work can lead to major rewards.
What Can You Do For Your Employees?
The ideas listed above are just the beginning, and you should use them as guidelines to support and recognize your employees. What’s even more important, however, is understanding what they really want and what would boost employee morale throughout the workplace.
Sometimes, the best way to do that is with a gift. Ask your employees what they might like or consider their interests, choose something appropriate, and don’t wait until the company Christmas party to offer a token of your appreciation. Some of the best ideas for employee recognition gifts are:
- Gift cards
- Water bottles
You don’t need to do anything extravagant to show your employees you care. Simple gifts and gestures can go a long way.
You can also consider gifts that aren’t as tangible, but just as meaningful. When your employees know that you prioritize their well-being, they’re more likely to return the favor with quality work and productivity. Encourage breaks. Allow for flexibility or even remote work, if possible. Have wellness programs in place that address both mental and physical health, and check in with your workers regularly just to ask how they’re doing.
When you encourage a healthy work-life balance, your team is less likely to get burnt out, and they’ll have an easier time staying energized and focused as they help customers.
As you can see, happy employees will easily lead to happy customers. Not only do your employees play a large role in customer loyalty, but establishing a positive work environment will allow your target audience to take notice of your brand’s values and beliefs.
Take the time to learn what your employees want, and go beyond meeting their basic needs. When you do, you’ll boost customer loyalty, build brand awareness, increase word-of-mouth advertising, and create an atmosphere that makes people want to work for you for a very long time.
By Indiana Lee, BOSS contributor