Customers and Employees, Loyalty and Satisfaction; What Do You Want From Whom?

Much has been written including points raised in this space about the importance of both customer satisfaction and employee loyalty. We have heard in Inner Circle meetings the despair over the fact that employees are not as loyal as they once were in generations past. In fact, the expectation of how many jobs people entering today’s workforce will hold over their lifetimes is a much bigger number than that of their parents. Many have seen their parents pushed out of jobs by companies that were no longer loyal to them. Many just simply want to control their own lives and career.

Every business wants to satisfy its customers. Customer satisfaction advice has sold a lot of books, generated a lot of seminars and workshops and made a lot of consultants money. But in a recent meeting, Jeff Rosolio, CEO of Elite Professionals a DC-area-based interim H/R executive firm ( made an excellent observation about how companies are changing the focus of their efforts to gain loyalty and satisfaction. As more and more firms look to establish and sustain customer relationships over an extended period of time, they are striving not just to provide good customer satisfaction but also to earn customer loyalty. And to keep good employees for as long as possible, more and more companies are striving to deliver employee satisfaction (how many times do we have to hear in all those surveys that money is definitely not at the top of the list of why people stay or go) instead of demanding loyalty.

What has happened is that smart companies are learning that they have to earn both customer loyalty and employee satisfaction not just demand them.