64% of US Employees Believe Their Work Experience Affects the Quality of Their Customer Service

64% of US Employees Believe Their Work Experience Affects the Quality of Their Customer Service

Many say their employer focuses on the customer experience and efforts to improve it instead
Call center agent wearing a headset

Most companies are continuously on the hunt for new ways to improve their bottom line, and for some, the solution may be right in their workplace.

In a new survey from management consulting firm Eagle Hill Consulting, results show that 64% of American workers agree that the employee experience has a direct impact on their ability to serve customers. Despite these sentiments, only 38% believe that their employers actually prioritize the work experience and satisfaction of their workforce.

A company's employee experience affects more than just the customer experience

According to the survey, most employees believe that their feelings about their daily work experience affect their productivity (70%) and their ability to do meaningful work (69%). However, the sentiments of those who are unsatisfied with their work experience are often reflected in their work — and to a far greater extent than that of happier employees.

For instance, a survey from Mopria Alliance found that regular distractions in the workplace cause a drop in employee productivity and mental health. Similarly, Eagle Hill Consulting found that dissatisfied employees are:

  • Over three times more likely than satisfied employees (31% versus 10%) to say their feelings about their daily work experience negatively impact their productivity
  • Over two times more likely (21% versus 9%) to say their feelings negatively impact the service they provide customers
  • Over 2.5 times more likely (13% versus 5%) to say they don't provide excellent customer service
  • Twice as likely (9% versus 5%) to say they don't deliver quality outcomes

On the other hand, a different survey — conducted by Guardian — found that employees were more likely to stay loyal to companies that took care of their workforce's needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In spite of these findings, Eagle Hill indicates that companies tend to focus on the needs of their customers over those of their employees. Its report reveals that employers prioritize customer experience (57%) and efforts to improve it (55%) over the employee experience (27%) and efforts to improve the work experience (25%).

"Companies can have terrific products, but customer experience will make or break customer loyalty," says Melissa Jezior, president and chief executive officer of Eagle Hill Consulting.

"And even with the big tech investments organizations have made to improve customer experience — enhancing self-service options, enriching websites and offering greater channel flexibility — it cannot replace the human relationships that are at the core of customer experience. The bottom line: happy employees lead to happy customers."

Workers feel disconnected from team members during COVID-19 pandemic

Eagle Hill's Employee Experience Survey also discovered a trend toward individual accomplishments and needs over that of the team — perhaps due to the transition to working from home during the pandemic.

The vast majority of respondents report confidence in:

  • Delivering quality outcomes (95%)
  • Providing excellent customer service and staying productive at work (94%)

However, 19% of employees are especially frustrated with having to take on the responsibilities of their underperforming colleagues, while another 25% admitted they don't feel connected to their coworkers at all. Meanwhile, only 41% of respondents say that their managers and supervisors care about their relationships and interactions with other team members.

These findings suggest that, even during a time when employees may feel more isolated than usual, workplace connections and the benefits they offer to the daily work experience may not be a priority for employers.

Methodology: Ipsos conducted an online survey on behalf of Eagle Hill Consulting in January 2021. Survey data was gathered from a random sample of 1,003 US employees.