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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

Fall 2012


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

Fall 2012

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


The Link Between Employee Attitudes, Customer Attitudes and Customer Spending  
The Link Between Employee Attitudes, Customer Attitudes and Customer Spending  

As CEOs will agree, the most important issue facing chief executives is continuous focus on driving profitable revenue growth. As research c...