The Benefits of Collecting Employee and Customer Feedback – Simultaneously

Conducting a simultaneous employee and customer satisfaction survey is likely to be highly beneficial, especially for larger organisations.

We already know that the two are interlinked – satisfied employees ensure the happiness of customers. This is more or less self-evident.

Now, let’s assume the following scenario:

(1.) customer satisfaction survey is conducted in an organisation with over hundred employees of which the vast majority are working in customer service

(2.) results of the customer survey reveal certain areas in need of improvement

(3.) no employee satisfaction survey has been conducted

From the point of view of problem solving, the best option would have been to conduct an employee satisfaction survey simultaneously with the customer satisfaction survey – and here is why.

The areas of dissatisfaction have now been recognised. After that it becomes a question of understanding the root cause – WHY customer dissatisfaction exists in these particular areas.

The difficulty in this scenario is that no-one wants to take the blame for the “failure” or to be blamed for that matter – the employees might actually become defensive once the customer feedback results are being discussed. The defensive state of mind usually prevents constructive problem solving, regardless of the good intentions involved.

The better way to deal with such a situation would have been to conduct a simultaneous employee satisfaction survey – without having any prior knowledge of the results from the customer survey.

I believe this is a more desirable option to identify the factors that might explain customer dissatisfaction, and at the same time be fair for all parties involved.

A well planned employee satisfaction survey could reveal and explain if customer dissatisfaction is caused by factors relating to employee motivation, management inefficiencies or other organisational circumstances – especially if the employees have been given the opportunity to answer anonymously.

Another thing of importance is to consider the survey design.

(a.) in terms of collecting employee feedback, the majority of the questions should be open-ended. Otherwise, the process of creating unbiased survey will be compromised. The aim should be to hear and understand the whole truth – not parts of it. Multiple-choice questions are likely going to be restrictive in this context.

(b.) whereas in terms of collecting customer feedback, multiple-choice questions tend to perform the best.

And finally, an objective results analysis is going to be the key to constructive and truthful development conversations within the work community.

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