Wednesday, January 27, 2010

CUSTOMER VS. EMPLOYEE: Challenging Conventional Wisdom

The customer is number one. This is a fundamental tenet of business…and, might I say, business folklore. Some years ago, business executive Hal Rosenbluth wrote a book called The Customer Comes Second . If Rosenbluth is right, who is first? He says the employee.

Now there is a study — cited in The New York Times — that suggests Rosenbluth may be right. The employee may indeed be more important than the customer. The study found that strong sales growth was correlated with an organizational culture in which employees thought more highly of the company than did society at large.

In fact, there was 7.46% rise in sales for the companies whose employees like the company much more than consumers did; and there was 9.02% drop in sales for companies at which employee opinion was far below customer opinion.

This proves that employee impressions of a company are critical to its success...and critical to attracting business. Employees are the face of the company. They are the ambassadors who make a difference.

In fact, if employee attitudes are much better than expected, customer approval of the company actually increases exponentially — sometimes even surpassing employees’ approval — and sales go through the roof.

This study leaves no doubt whatsoever about the importance of employee relations programs and what it takes to win over customers … whether you see them as #1 or #2.

Technorati Tags: Hal Rosenbluth, New York Times,
customer, employee,communications, public relations, Makovsky


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