Positive Service Climate Drives Customer Satisfaction
By Carol Rovello, SPHR
"Research shows that when employees work in a positive service climate, with the right tools to do their job, the result is more satisfied customers, with increased competitive financial performance for the company, often including a stronger market value." 1
However, when leaders talk about customer service, they often forget that their organization has internal as well as external customers. Human resource leaders tend to be clearer about who their customers are, but how can you help the rest of your organization understand this seemingly simple concept - if internal customers (your employees) are well served, they will provide better service to your external customers.
But, don't take my word for it. A joint study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) confirmed what 30 years of prior research revealed - when employees in a service business experience a positive service climate, the organization's customers report higher satisfaction. As early as 1980, research has shown a correlation between employee ratings of service climate and their customers' views about service quality.
SHRM/SIOP's research demonstrated that the following benefits were realized when a positive service climate allowed employees to deliver on service quality:
"Higher rates of customer retention
Lower cost of sales overall (because you're retaining more customers)
Fewer errors are made (reducing the need for recovery and rework)
A decreased need to compete on price (within reason, of course)
Improved levels of, and decreased variance in, cash flow
Higher corporate bond ratings (making the cost of borrowing money cheaper)
Increased market value" 1
1 Schneider, Benjamin and Barbera, Karen. Driving Customer Satisfaction Through HR: Creating and Maintaining a Service Climate. SHRM and SIOP, February 2011.
Carol Rovello is the President of Strategic Workplace Solutions Inc. With over 32 years of leadership experience, she has spent the past 26 years helping organizations improve performance.