There is the old adage, “The customer is always right,” and countless books and papers outlining business strategies that put customers at the forefront of everything. Brandon Hall Group research says that the number one business priority for organizations through 2020 is customer satisfaction. It far outranked things like gaining market share, developing new products and retaining top talent. But how do we improve customer satisfaction? And are we chasing it at the expense of other things, ultimately causing it to decline?
Richard Branson of Virgin Group famously said, “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”
Just as it seems like common sense to keep customers happy (otherwise there is no business), it also makes sense to do the same with employees . But very often, the two are regarded much differently.
Learning and Development can have a huge influence on customer satisfaction. We see it in our research when companies with effective learning programs report improved customer satisfaction as one of their key performance indicators. The research shows that providing employees with the right opportunities for development that are targeted to outcomes like customer satisfaction, then measuring the learning against the CSAT metric will actually move the needle.
And it is not just training frontline employees on how to interact with customers. There are multiple dimensions to CSAT and people throughout the organization can influence it. There is an often-expansive reseller and contractor ecosystem that can have an impact on the satisfaction of your customers – even though they don’t work for your company! Providing the proper training to these audiences means they can knowledgeably and authoritatively discuss your products and services with customers, setting the stage for a good relationship.
Lastly, don’t forget about training the customers themselves. The L&D function is often called upon to create product training for customers. Whether it’s training provided with the product or simply tips, tricks and FAQs that stakeholders can get themselves, it is all part of the customer experience.
To learn much more on this subject, please join me for a webinar on April 3rd at 10AM Pacific / 1 PM Eastern with Tim Durnaleau, VP of Marketing for SAP Litmos, and Laura Beth Matson, Director of HRIS for GEC Packaging Technologies. We will discuss practical ways to leverage learning to drive customer satisfaction.