A study from workforce management solution provider Humanforce has found a direct link between the happiness of employees and increased customer satisfaction.
The study found that 79 per cent of casual workers in Australia reported that having a positive workplace environment directly impacted the level of customer service given.
It was found that 82 per cent of Australian casual workers have direct contact with the general public and customers, with 50 per cent further reporting that they were in contact with customers most of the time. Thirty per cent of the workers reported that half of their job was customer facing.
According to the study, 61 per cent of these casual workers interacted face-to-face with their customers and only 16 per cent interacted with customers through the phone or online. Of these, only 12 per cent interacted with customers outside of the workplace, in public or home contexts.
“Casual workers are key to the customer relationship in hospitality, as they are at the front-line of customer service and the first human contact point people have with a business or brand,” says Clayton Pyne, CEO of Humanforce.
“This can go both ways, where people can have positive or negative interactions depending on the level of service delivery provided.”
The study also assessed factors that influenced employee happiness and resultant customer satisfaction. The results found that workplace pressure influenced employee satisfaction by 45 per cent followed by poor workplace culture which accounted for 39 per cent.
Inadequate staff engagement was found to influence employee satisfaction by 39 per cent and not receiving enough shifts had a 37 per cent impact.
“While many businesses in Australia fully appreciate that just one negative human interaction can make or break customer loyalty, they still aren’t making the connection between the important role that casual workers play in their business’ customer satisfaction levels,” adds Clayton.
The study also investigated which factors increased workplace happiness and customer service. It was found that having good communication with employers influenced casual workplace satisfaction by 45 per cent and employee rewards had a 40 per cent impact.
“Encouragingly, 62 per cent of casual workers said they were empowered by their employer, who trusts and supports them in interacting with customers, leaving 38 per cent in a position where they feel like they don’t have freedom in their interactions with customers, which are overseen by their employer,” says Clayton.
“This shows that some businesses still do not regard their casual staff highly enough or fail to engage with them properly, so they feel empowered and supported in creating the best customer experiences possible.”
The study also found that employee training increased workplace happiness, with general training have a 43 per cent impact on workplace satisfaction with on-the-job training having a 41 per cent impact.
“Positively, again, 69 per cent of casual workers indicated that their employer is already providing specific training and support to help them manage customer relationships,” says Clayton.
“However, there is a lot of scope for more businesses to get on board with this and to further engage their casual workers with the other incentives they’re asking for including increased communication and rewards programs.”
With workplace management solutions able to assist with these factors from training to onboarding to communication and employee rewards, Humanforce’s solutions can help increase workplace happiness and overall customer satisfaction.
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