Relationship between employee engagement and retail sales

New retail-focused study reveals that high employee engagement is linked to high customer satisfaction scores

Picture: Engagement

(© Answers Corporation)


Answers Corporation, a provider of cloud-based voice of customer solutions and owner of the leading Internet brand, has released findings that quantitatively validate the causal relationship between retail store employee engagement and customer satisfaction.

The new study debuted to a standing-room only crowd at “Retail’s Future: Where Customer Experience and Employee Engagement Converge,” a BIG !deas session at the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Annual Convention & EXPO, and will be presented at an encore session on January 13 at 10:15 a.m.

The True Value of the Employee-Customer Engagement

The new analysis is an amalgamation of retail store employee and customer experience data from two separate but related bodies of research conducted by Answers in 2014. By applying its proprietary causal modeling methodology from ForeSee, an Answers solution, Answers was able to derive the numerical impact of employee engagement on customer satisfaction, thus offering quantifiable proof that employee engagement has a direct, positive effect on customer satisfaction. The positive slope in the accompanying figure illustrates that dynamic for two dozen of the top global retail brands.

Satisfaction is scored on a 100-point scale; 80 is generally considered the threshold for excellence at which an organization meets and exceeds employee or customer expectations. The top-performing retailers, Advance Auto Parts, Ann Taylor, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Costco, OfficeMax and Victoria’s Secret, are poised to reap the greatest benefits for high marks in both areas.

The Clear Path to Sales

Having established the numerical correlation between employee engagement and customer satisfaction, the impact on behaviors such as “future purchase” or “recommend the retailer to others” can subsequently be calculated using ForeSee’s predictive modeling. For example, a mid-sized specialty retailer with 300 stores, a $30 average order value and about one million transactions per month can generate an annual revenue increase of three percent by prioritizing improvements to store employee engagement.

“Through this groundbreaking analysis, Answers has definitively quantified the relationship between employees and customers, and demonstrates how companies can drive bottom-line results through initiatives that increase the engagement of their client-facing workers,” said Eric Feinberg, Senior Director of Product Strategy at Answers.

He added, “Institutions have surveyed employee engagement and customer satisfaction separately for years. A few companies have even gone as far as to evaluate the employee-customer relationship within their own organizations, but at great effort and expense. Answers is the first provider to reliably measure the employee-customer convergence economically and at scale, and consequently predict, with accuracy, which investments will generate the greatest returns.”

At his session at NRF, Feinberg put a spotlight on various retailers and their efforts to deliver on the employee-customer experience. He also offered advice on how companies can make improvements to both employee engagement and customer satisfaction in ways that will generate meaningful results. Feinberg will share the findings at a second BIG !deas session on January 13 at 10:15 a.m. Attend his presentation or visit the Answers booth #4031 during the show to learn more about the link between employee engagement, customer satisfaction and the bottom line.

About the Analysis: Over the course of Fall 2014, Answers concurrently fielded two studies, one focusing on employees and the other on consumers. The first, Answers American Employee Study, offered a comprehensive examination of the employment experience of thousands of American workers across roles, ranks and industries.

Source: Answers Corporation