Membership

Happy Employees, Better Service

By / Jun 1, 2013 (Getty images)

The attitude and energy required of concierge-level service make it a job that few are genuinely cut out for—and genuine is a crucial factor.

A 2006 research experiment [PDF] led by Dwayne Gremler, Ph.D., at Bowling Green State University found that, in a service setting, “the authenticity of the employee’s emotional labor display, rather than the extent of smiling, influences the customer’s emotions and perceptions.” In other words, customers can discern, whether consciously or not, between an employee who is genuinely happy and one who is merely pretending, and interactions with genuinely happy employees lead to more positive customer emotions than interactions with pretenders.

So, hiring generally upbeat people is a start, but treating your employees well might do even more to raise your customer-service quality. Steven Brown and Son Lam of the University of Houston analyzed a collection of 28 studies on employee and customer satisfaction in 2008 and found a consistent relationship between higher levels of employee job satisfaction and higher customer service ratings, according to Academy of Management Perspectives.

In any of your member-service efforts, the key to making your members happy might just be making the employees who serve them happy, as well.

Joe Rominiecki

Joe Rominiecki, manager of communications at the Entomological Society of America, is a former senior editor at Associations Now. More »

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