Putting employees ahead of customers

Customer-focused. It is one of the most popular terms for organizations, especially in the services industry, to describe themselves. But how important is it to be customer-focused? Does that provide the best result for the customer? More and more companies believe in a focus on the employee as an optimal strategy for customer satisfaction.

Why would you put employees ahead of customers?

“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”

It is a well-known quote of the successful entrepreneur Richard Branson. The idea behind this is that employees who feel valued and respected are motivated to fully commit themselves to the customer. Happy employees create happy customers who purchase more products and services, which results in satisfied shareholders.

"The employee-centric approach is a shorter route to success than the customer-centric approach."

The employee-centric approach

A couple of guidelines to get satisfied or happy employees:

  • Make sure employees feel safe and enjoy going to work:

Employees should be happy and proud to work for your company. Make sure they work in a pleasant environment and feel safe and respected. Not only the physical working environment, but also the company culture is important in this.

  • Reward and value employees:

That includes more than salary. Motivate people, compliment them on their choices and efforts and let them know how important they are to the organization. Make employees realize that they have an important contribution to the organization and say how happy you are with them.

  • Empower employees to take decisions:

Trust your employees. Stimulate them to come up with ideas and initiatives and to implement their plans. Even if things go wrong every now and then. Employees who take their own decisions and take responsibility grow in their roles, are committed to the company and proud of the successes achieved.

The shortest route to success

The employee-centric approach is a shorter route to success than the customer-centric approach. Because, if you focus on the customer, you try to deliver the best products and services, excellent support and a great customer experience. That is very ambitious to strive for in a competitive market. A much easier, more successful and more fun approach is to make sure your employees are happy. They will do the rest. This takes time and effort, but ultimately, it will bring you a lot. Besides that, you will make a lot of people happy and you get to work in a pleasant, positive and successful organization every day!

Philip van Kemenade is marketing manager at Dysel and is in contact with software end users every day.