January 12, 2015

Answers™ Scientifically Proves the Direct Causal Relationship Between Employee Engagement and Retail Sales at NRF 2015


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New Retail-Focused Study Reveals That High Employee Engagement at Advance Auto Parts, Ann Taylor, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Costco, OfficeMax and Victoria’s Secret Are Linked to High Customer Satisfaction Scores

NEW YORK, NY (January 12, 2015)—Answers Corporation, a premier provider of cloud-based voice of customer solutions and owner of the leading Internet brand Answers.com, has released findings that quantitatively validate the causal relationship between retail store employee engagement and customer satisfaction. The new study debuted yesterday to a standing-room only crowd at “Retail’s Future: Where Customer Experience and Employee Engagement Converge,” a BIG !deas session at the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Annual Convention & EXPO, and will be presented at an encore session on January 13 at 10:15 a.m.

The True Value of the Employee-Customer Engagement

The new analysis is an amalgamation of retail store employee and customer experience data from two separate but related bodies of research conducted by Answers™ in 2014. By applying its proprietary causal modeling methodology from ForeSee, an Answers solution, Answers was able to derive the numerical impact of employee engagement on customer satisfaction, thus offering quantifiable proof that employee engagement has a direct, positive effect on customer satisfaction. The positive slope in the accompanying figure illustrates that dynamic for two dozen of the top global retail brands.

The relationship between customer satisfaction and employee engagement

Satisfaction is scored on a 100-point scale; 80 is generally considered the threshold for excellence at which an organization meets and exceeds employee or customer expectations. The top-performing retailers, Advance Auto Parts, Ann Taylor, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Costco, OfficeMax and Victoria’s Secret, are poised to reap the greatest benefits for high marks in both areas.

The Clear Path to Sales

Having established the numerical correlation between employee engagement and customer satisfaction, the impact on behaviors such as “future purchase” or “recommend the retailer to others” can subsequently be calculated using ForeSee’s predictive modeling. For example, a mid-sized specialty retailer with 300 stores, a $30 average order value and about one million transactions per month can generate an annual revenue increase of three percent by prioritizing improvements to store employee engagement.

“Through this groundbreaking analysis, Answers has definitively quantified the relationship between employees and customers, and demonstrates how companies can drive bottom-line results through initiatives that increase the engagement of their client-facing workers,” said Eric Feinberg, Senior Director of Product Strategy at Answers.

He added, “Institutions have surveyed employee engagement and customer satisfaction separately for years. A few companies have even gone as far as to evaluate the employee-customer relationship within their own organizations, but at great effort and expense. Answers is the first provider to reliably measure the employee-customer convergence economically and at scale, and consequently predict, with accuracy, which investments will generate the greatest returns.”

At his session at NRF, Feinberg put a spotlight on various retailers and their efforts to deliver on the employee-customer experience. He also offered advice on how companies can make improvements to both employee engagement and customer satisfaction in ways that will generate meaningful results. Feinberg will share the findings at a second BIG !deas session on January 13 at 10:15 a.m. Attend his presentation or visit the Answers booth #4031 during the show to learn more about the link between employee engagement, customer satisfaction and the bottom line.

About the Analysis

Over the course of Fall 2014, Answers™ concurrently fielded two studies, one focusing on employees and the other on consumers. The first, Answers™American Employee Study, offered a comprehensive examination of the employment experience of thousands of American workers across roles, ranks and industries. A subset of the study focused on the workplace engagement of 500 retail store employees. The second study, Answers™ Experience Index (AXI): 2014 U.S. Retail Edition, reviewed the experiences of 40,000 retail customers across multiple touch points, including brick-and-mortar stores. Both studies are based on technology-driven experience analytics from ForeSee, an Answers solution that utilizes a proprietary cause-and-effect methodology that generates quantifiable experience data that can accurately and reliably inform investment decisions.

About Answers Corporation

Answers’ mission is to empower consumers, brands and organizations by connecting them with the information they need to make more-informed decisions. The Answers Voice of the Customer Platform leverages the sizable reach of the top-10 Internet brand Answers.com (source: Quantcast), along with leading cloud-based solutions from ForeSee, Webcollage and ResellerRatings, to enable businesses and organizations to engage with customers at every interaction point, drive investment decisions from customer insights and deliver content that powers the customer experience. Answers is headquartered in St. Louis with offices in Ann Arbor, New York City, Silicon Valley, Cleveland, London, Vancouver and Tel Aviv. For Answers, visit answers.com.

Answers.com is a registered trademark of Answers Corporation in the United States and in jurisdictions throughout the world. All other trademarks, trade names or service marks used or mentioned herein belong to their respective owners.

About the Author

As a pioneer in customer experience analytics, Verint delivers superior technology and proven methodology to connect the customer experience to the bottom line. The result is better business for companies and a better experience for consumers.

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