Published in Retail

Engagement: Isn’t Customer Satisfaction Enough?

Ok.. take just a minute and think about a product or service that you are engaged with.

By engaged I mean… more than loyal… you would buy this product, shop at this store even if it was inconvenient, more expensive, etc. Personally, there is a grocery store chain in Utah that I am engaged with.  They know my name, the aisles are uncluttered and I always have a positive experience there.  They are miles from my home and more expensive, but I love doing business there.

OK…now for the big question:  Why are you engaged with this brand?  Chances are if I were to ask you this face-to- face, you would cite an experience that resonated to the value you received, possibly you would tell me that the product made you feel better or smarter as a consumer, perhaps you have had a personal experience that supported your own personal values because of this brand or product, or that the brand or product reflected your own values.  Would you say that you are merely “satisfied” with the service, brand, or product?

Have you ever noticed the attributes of someone who is truly engaged?  What about your customers, patients, residents, members, or physicians?  What is it that sets them apart?  Engagement behaviors are grouped into two main categories:

Engaged Customers

  • Recommend products and services to friends and colleagues
  • Purchase additional products and services
  • Believe the products and services are the best compared to other similar products and services that they know of
  • Will suggest improvements to your products/services INSTEAD of shopping around for something better or less expensive

Engaged Employees

  • Stay longer–reducing training and recruitment demands
  • Promote the company to friends and relatives
  • Demonstrate increased productivity and quality to internal customers
  • Establish rapport and loyalty directly with customers, patients, members, or other service recipients.

In short, engaged customers pay financial dividends in the long run.  Engaged employees become brand advocates and create a better experience for your customers.

Dr Gary Rhoads, a Professor at Brigham Young University, coined the term “Spillover Effect.” His assertion was that, “emotionally engaged employees believe that they are doing something valuable for their organizations and that their efforts will make a difference.  The positive feelings that employees have about their jobs and employers influence the level of service they give to customers.  These positive experiences ‘spill over’ to the customers, who become advocates for the company’s products and services.”

As an organization you want to engage your customers AND employees.  Think about the exercise we just did.  Wouldn’t it be great if your employees listed your company or brand as a brand of choice?  Wouldn’t it be great if your customers did the same?  Engagement is more than satisfaction. When you connect with human values, you create customers and engaged employees long-term.  Now, go do this exercise with your own staff, and if they do not list you as a brand of choice, it’s time to find out why.