For most organizations, the objective of improving the satisfaction level or increasing the degree of engagement of an employee in the organization is an article of faith. Research studies on this subject indicate that building customer loyalty has a significant impact on profitability of the organization. A study based on 46,000 business-to-business surveys reports that a “totally satisfied” customer contributes 2.6 times more revenue than a “somewhat satisfied” customer.
‘Walking the talk’ is the name of the game:
It is extremely difficult if not impossible to create a critical mass of loyal doctors’ base for a brand or brands without a creating a team of satisfied, engaged or loyal sales & marketing team. The best employees usually prefer to work for companies where managers ‘walk the talk’, set examples and deliver superior values.
Acid test of leadership:
A work environment of such kind helps to create employee satisfaction, loyalty and engagement, which ultimately gets translated into building customer loyalty. Ensuring employee loyalty and creating employee satisfaction is, therefore, considered widely as the acid test of leadership.
Creating a positive psyche within employees is important, usual skill training is just not enough:
To create employee loyalty the organization will need to understand the mind of its employee and always try to have a positive influence on their psyche. Usual skill training will not help to achieve it.
Just as sowing a seed is no guarantee that it will grow into a plant, a highly skilled sales person is no guarantee that it will contribute to the growth of the organization. Just as one will need to create an environment for the seed grow into a plant, the organization will need to create an environment for employee satisfaction to enable them contributing towards the growth of the organization.
In HR invest resources where the mouth is:
It is very important for the managers to devote more resources both in terms of money and time to play the role of a mentor to each one of his or her direct reports to improve their satisfaction level with the organization. These satisfied employees will in turn help create a core group of prescription brand loyal doctors for the organization.
‘Charity begins at home’:
However, ironically most of these managers do not realize that attempts at their end towards this objective, many a times, are just cosmetic in nature. As the saying goes, “charity begins at home”…real enhancement in the level of customer services, indeed starts from extending superior services, support and satisfaction level to the sales force, the bedrock for generation of prescription demands for the prescription brands.
Facing the ‘moments of truths’ of every day positively:
Pursuit of an organization in providing great services to the patients through doctors ultimately depends on the people who provide those services…the sales force. It can only happen through one’s willingness to go beyond what is required of people who serve on the front lines.
Excellence in organizational performance takes place through efforts of frontline employees who make up their minds to face the “moments of truth” of every day, as positively as they possibly can. Such enthusiasm, loyalty, or devotion none will be able to impose on any one. These ordinary people are transformed into ‘brave hearts’ and highly satisfied top performers only through well articulated “shared values”, which take their deep roots within the organizational environment. In a situation like this one can easily make out the visible passion and pride of the frontline staff, emanating from deep within, of each one of them.
Some research findings:
Following are some examples from various research findings, which reinforce the hypotheses that there is a ‘cause and effect’ relationship between ‘customers satisfaction’ and ‘satisfied employees’:
• “For every one percent increase in internal service climate there is a two percent increase in
• “In cardiac care units where nurses’ moods were depressed, patient death rates were four times
higher than in comparable units”.
• Emotional commitment of the sales force and sense of identity with the company are key factors in
providing excellent service to the doctors.
• The reason of poor prescription demand of a company’s products is related to the degree of its sales
Therefore, one tends to believe that “a company’s external customer service is only as strong as the company’s internal leadership and the culture of commitment that this leadership creates”.
To transform one’s organization from “Good to Great” it is of utmost importance to build a team of loyal and satisfied ‘internal customers’ by creating a commensurate organizational culture, work environment, ethics and values. Various training & development programs or seminars, aiming only at employee ‘skill development’, are just not enough.
By Tapan Ray
Disclaimer: The views/opinions expressed in this article are entirely my own, written in my individual and personal capacity. I do not represent any other person or organization for this opinion.