The Link Between Employee Attitudes, Customer Attitudes and Customer Spending
s CEOs will agree, the most important issue
Empirical Analysis of the Relationship between Employee
driving profitable revenue growth. As research
examines the results of implementing an Integrated Internal
facing chief executives is continuous focus on
continues to show — in this study and others from the Forum
— there is a direct link between employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction and profit. It is time and money well spent for
C-suite executives to invest in their employees’ engagement and
Attitudes, Customer Attitudes and Customer Spending,” Marketing (IIM) Model at a major hotel chain. The IIM Model
is designed to link employee and customer behaviors to financial outcomes as shown in Fig. 1.
To investigate these connections, the study pulled informa-
understanding of brand values. In a study from the Forum for
tion from employee and customer surveys and connected it to
show a direct relationship between employees and customer
database. Main findings include:
People Performance Management and Measurement, the results perceptions of a hotel brand and increased customer spending
behavior. While this study specifically examines a hotel chain, the benefit of supporting employees to understand and deliver
the brand value of an organization to its customers is transferable across every industry.
The study, “Testing the Internal Marketing Model: An
the same customers’ spending behavior from a loyalty program • The key drivers of brand value to customers can be identified and linked to customer behavior. The drivers for the
hotel chain are fast and efficient check-in, employee efforts
to satisfy customers, hotel options and amenities, and precision in service.
• Employee perceptions of brand value are similar to custom-
ers, but lack uniformity across hotel locations. This shows
up as inconsistency in employee attitudes and, consequently, customer experiences.
• Customer perceptions of the brand have a direct and posi-
tive impact on how much money customers spend per hotel
These findings support management action to influence
employee attitudes and behaviors to create a positive revenue Figure 1
Customer Care News
Employee understanding of brand value and how they
represent those values to customers is the critical finding of this
study. Successfully delivering the key strategies to employees requires strong internal communications and employee engage-
and commitment toward building meaningful customer experiences.
Employees are the face of the brand. When these employees
ment. As discovered in the hotel example, this communication
deliver the company’s brand values to customers, their efforts
maximum benefit. Once employees understand and are engaged
this study finds, simply delivering the value “tries to satisfy”
needs to be delivered consistently across the organization for
in the brand values of the organization, increased customer sat-
isfaction and spending will result, which drives financial growth. Here are a few ideas to get started:
• Establish clear lines of communication: This study found
that consistent communication was important. Delivering a message consistently to all functional areas or departments will prevent inconsistent delivery of the brand values or key drivers to customers.
• Survey employees: Gather their thoughts on how employ-
ees understand brand value. Review the findings, find the gaps in communication and implement communication
appropriately so the team is equipped with what they need
translate directly into increased spending by customers. As increased the total amount
customers spent over time and how much
they spent per visit. The time investment
spent to support them
in their efforts to understand and articulate the brand values and align with customer attitudes about the brand is something
that will increase customer spending and contribute to every company’s bottom line. CCN
to deliver the key drivers for success.
The research study “Testing the Internal Marketing Model:
tition: Set the expectation for employees to strive to work
Attitudes, Customer Attitudes and Customer Spending” was
• Develop a culture that is a mix of cooperation and compecooperatively, but also encourage healthy competition where
employees can feel free to voice their opinions in pursuit of the best solutions for customers.
• Elevate engagement with a formal employee recognition
program: Building structure around recognition allows the
port the brand values that are critical to financial success. Providing clear direction and validating the actions taken toward those objectives will increase employee engagement
conducted by Dr. Frank Mulhern, Northwestern University, and produced by The Forum: Business Results Through People. The Forum: Business Results Through People (formerly Forum for People Performance Management and Measurement), affili-
ated with Northwestern University, is an organizational trust for thought leadership advocating that the most effective way
organization to consistently reinforce behaviors that sup-
An Empirical Analysis of the Relationship between Employee
business leaders can create and sustain organizational value is
through their partnership with people. The full study is available at www.businessresultsthroughpeople.org.
As CEOs will agree, the most important issue facing chief executives is continuous focus on driving profitable revenue growth. As research c...