Employee Engagement Vs Customer Engagement

Yesterday, I went for my regular, monthly haircut and this time chose a different hair dresser from my usual one. For the first few minutes the dresser was talking to me, enquiring how my day was, wanting to check what my expectations were and also about where i lived.

Couple of minutes in, one of his colleagues walked in and they both started having a conversation about something that was common between both of them, totally ignoring me. Though, I think that the result of the hair cut was better than I expected, I don’t think I will be going back to the hair dresser again as I didn’t feel that I belonged there.

It was then did i miss my regular dresser. He was always concerned about me, always talking to me, about something that he is experiencing & asking for advice, enquiring about my life, talking politics, weather or something that involved me in the conversation. I did enjoy the engaged conversations, which I did not realize until I had the experience yesterday.

Though, I believe the employee engagement is critical, my experience teaches me that when there is a customer involved, complete customer engagement, is more important that employee engagement.

So, do you know if your frontline employees are more interested in talking among themselves or do they really engage with their customers? Even a small improvement in the engagement levels can have a dramatic increase in loyalty.

Do you agree? Do you have a story about how you were engaged or ignored by an employee and how did you feel about that incident? Pls share the story with us and continue the conversation.

2 Replies to “Employee Engagement Vs Customer Engagement”

  1. Hi Mukesh – my first time visiting your site. I agree with your post and would like to add my thoughts.

    Too much employee engagement (ie the employees having banter between themselves), in my opinion, kills the mystique of the brand and can hurt the business. Of course this can depend on where you are, I realize I’m speaking in generalities.

    Aside from their main job at hand, the focus as far as communication goes, should be with the customers, whether it’s something as simple as eye contact and a smile or a quick greeting.

    Even in a place that doesn’t give much customer engagement, such as the grocery store, the employees can make the customers feel like they are “in the way” if there is employee banter without proper customer acknowledgements.

    My 2 cents is too much employees talking back and forth with the one another (even if they are doing their jobs), shows the company is too relaxed and customers are “by the way goal” but not the main goal.

    I look forward to reading more of your blog.

    1. Thanks Jacob for reading my post and sharing your thoughts. I totally agree with your thoughts about the effext that too much employee chatter can have on customers. I am remonded of a quote that is attributed to Mahatma Gandhi – “A customer is the sole reason why you are in business”. It is absolutely critical that employees internalise this and help customers feel it. That along with good product/service can lead to a very successful business.. I look forward to having you back here soon. Also, i enjoyed reading your post “Mr. Chen said”! I must say that the post is bang on and i see similar culture in india as well! Hope we are able to help a few folks turn around and stop those practise through our words!

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