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Customer retention starts with engaged employees

With the revenue potential that loyal patrons bring, businesses are wise to focus on retaining their existing customer base in addition to their marketing efforts.

With the revenue potential that loyal patrons bring, businesses are wise to focus on retaining their existing customer base in addition to their marketing efforts. They might turn to loyalty programs or offer perks for frequent shoppers, but managers are remiss if they overlook a crucial factor in customer satisfaction and retention: their employees.

Entrepreneur emphasized that customer retention begins on the "front lines," at the point of contact between customers and the company. Often, a lower-level worker is the primary representative of a company, so his or her attitude, demeanor and competence will carry significant weight in how the patron regards the business. This encounter can be the key factor in whether a customer returns to do business again.

Why does employee engagement matter? At a basic level, strategies like sales incentive programs can encourage employees to do a better job reaching out to customers and meeting their quotas. However, other reward and recognition program initiatives can foster a positive company culture where workers feel more motivated, inspired and happy. And their job satisfaction often translates to friendlier interactions with customers, who can tell when employees are proud of their company and invested in their work.

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