有个别公司在其内部研究报告中提到员工满意度对商业的冲击。电话公司MCI发现在员工满意度与客户满意度及客户持续购买MCI产品之间有直接关联。数码设备公司（后归于与惠普合并的康柏公司）发现在员工满意度上处于前四分之一部分的field districts其客户满意度比后四分之一的field districts高42%，利润增长幅度高34%。
Customer satisfaction is very closely associated with employee satisfaction. In fact the correlation between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction has been reported to be .86 (Urlich & Lake, 1991). Therefore, Chinese companies seeking to improve customer satisfaction will benefit by implementing programs that enhance employee satisfaction.
The present article reviews the association between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction, as it has been articulated in the employee customer profit chain (Heskett, Jones, Loveman, Sasser, & Schlesinger, 1994). A second article, in the next issue of CSS&CSSI Forum will present some of the organizational practices that can enhance employee satisfaction in order to improve customer satisfaction and profit.
The Logic of the Employee Customer Profit Chain
The profit and growth of the firm depends on satisfying customers. Happy customers will buy again, and will refer new customers. Employees are a key link to keep customers happy. If the firm can retain employees who are motivated and skilled then the firm can provide more consistent quality of goods and services. Then customers will feel more inclined to stay loyal to the company. On the other hand, relationships with customers will be hurt if there is high turnover in employees. Therefore, human resource practices that retain satisfied employees can help improve customer satisfaction.
Revenue Growth and Higher
This chain of relationships can become a virtuous cycle. That is, when a firm has higher profits it can invest more in the human resource practices that promote employee satisfaction. This in turn leads to more satisfied customers, more profit, and again more resources to invest in human resources. These investments in human resources further boost employee commitment and help profitability by further reducing turnover and training costs.
Toyota looked at the relationship between customer satisfaction and other measures of business performance. For the period 1986 to 1993 they found a high correlation between customer satisfaction index trends and market share and profits. Toyota has also compared dealerships that were high in customer satisfaction with those that were low. The high customer satisfaction dealerships had 67% higher net profit per employee, 43% less salesperson turnover, and 30% less advertising cost (cited in Bailey & Dandrade, 1995). This data suggests that achieving customer satisfaction is not only a result of employee satisfaction, but also is a cause of employee satisfaction.
What is employee satisfaction?
Employee satisfaction is the attitudes that employees have toward different aspects of their work situations. Examples of these different aspects can be seen in a sample of the 20 scales that comprise the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ), a common measure of employee satisfaction; MSQ scales include compensation, co-workers, working conditions, advancement, and supervision—human relations (http://www.psych.umn.edu/psylabs/vpr/msqinf.htm).
Different aspects of satisfaction are important to different employees. At a recent seminar organized by ISCOCS, some employees said financial rewards were most important; others said that the social climate of the workplace was paramount; and for others opportunities for growth and creativity were what mattered most. These responses fit the theory that employee motivation includes existence needs, relatedness needs, and growth needs (ERG ref).
An employee survey, using a standardized questionnaire such as the MSQ, is a formal way to measure employee satisfaction. Data can be compared across groups within an corporation and compared to external norms. Some companies use employee satisfaction data, as well as customer satisfaction data, as part of their systems for measuring and rewarding the performance of top managers. When companies do collect such satisfaction data, they can assign accountability to specific managers for achieving targeted improvements in customer and employee satisfaction measures.
Employee satisfaction surveys may not be appropriate in all companies. There needs to be openness among managers to accept and respond to the data that is obtained. Companies should also be cautious that employee expectations may be raised by formally collecting satisfaction data—employees will be interested in knowing what was learned and what actions the company plans to take after collecting survey data. Satisfaction can be assessed through less formal means such as observation and discussion.
Do Chinese companies need to be concerned with employee satisfaction?
Today in China there is increasing competitive demand for professionally qualified employees and such employees have increasing opportunities to shift their employment. So a trend is being seen toward frequent job changes among educated professionals. Your company needs to be concerned about how to keep your most talented employees by providing them employee satisfaction.
To satisfy and retain employees, employers in China should consider offering competitive pay and flexible financial benefits, building loyal relationships between employees and managers, and providing opportunities for recognition and advancement (Melvin, 2001).
What is the evidence connecting employee satisfaction to customer satisfaction?
Individual companies have reported on their internal studies of the business impact of employee satisfaction. The telephone company MCI found a direct link between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction and customer intentions to continue to use MCI services. Digital Equipment (later acquired by Compaq, which has merged with HP) found that field districts in the top quarter in terms of employee satisfaction had 42% higher customer satisfaction and 34% higher profit margins than and districts in the bottom quarter (Bailey & Dandrade, 1995).
The main point is that where employee satisfaction is low, customer satisfaction will likely also be low; where employee satisfaction is high, there also will probably be high customer satisfaction. The reported correlation of .86 between customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction indicates that these two are strongly related to each other.
Satisfied employees can lead to satisfied customers. This philosophy of management has been summarized by a CEO of an U.S. airline company, who said: “ We treat our people well, and in turn they treat our customers well” (Ascribe News, 2001). In the next next issue of CSS&CSSI Forum I will present examples of organizational practices that companies are uses to enhance employee satisfaction in order to improve customer satisfaction and profit.
Alderfer, C. P. (1972). Existence, Relatedness, Growth. New York: Free Press. Bailey, Betty & Dandrade, Robert. Employee Satisfaction + Customer Satisfaction = Sustained Profitability: Digital Equipment Corporation’s Strategic Quality Efforts. Center for Quality of Management Journal ,Volume 4, Fall, 1995.
Ascribe News. Happy, Passionate Employees Key to Good Business, Top Executives Say” Ascribe News, April 16, 2001
Heskett, James L.; Jones, Thomas O.; Loveman, Gary W.; Sasser, W. Earl, Jr.; Schlesinger, Leonard A. “Putting the Service-Profit Chain to Work”; Harvard Business Review, March/April, 1994.
Melvin, Sheila. “Retaining Chinese Workers”. China Business Review, November-December 2001.
Ulrich, Dr. David and Lake, Dr. Dale “Organizational Capability Creating Competitive Advantage”. Academy of Management Executive, Vol. 5, 1991.