Customer Loyalty and Employee Engagement: an Alignment for Value

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Journal of Business Strategy
ISSN: 0275-6668
Online from: 1980
Subject Area: Strategy
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Customer loyalty and employee engagement: an alignment for value DOI (Permanent URL): 10.1108/02756660810887060
Article citation:
Matthew P. Gonring, (2008) "Customer loyalty and employee engagement: an alignment for value", Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 29 Iss: 4, pp.29 - 40 The Authors
Matthew P. Gonring, Consultant with Gagen MacDonald, Chicago, IL, USA Acknowledgements
The author wishes to acknowledge the contribution of Courtney M. Barnes to this article. Ms. Barnes is the Editor of PR News. Abstract
Purpose – The purpose of his paper is to show that the rational and emotional triggers associated with customer loyalty and employee engagement can be measured in a macro manner through mathematical indexing. Myriad factors, among them digitalization and disintermediation, have gradually eroded the power of an elite group of senior managers to control corporate messaging and manage corporate reputation. Other stakeholder groups, particularly employees and customers, have become empowered under these current corporate conditions. For this reason, establishing high levels of customer loyalty and employee engagement are leading determinants of brand performance. These indexes can serve as powerful tools to build integrated messaging. Design/methodology/approach – This article explores the impact of customer loyalty and employee engagement on corporate performance, and identifies how these qualities can be quantifiably measured by sophisticated mathematical indexes. To do this, the authors review the factors that contribute to form corporate reputation, and how this formation process has changed over time. It places special emphasis on how senior corporate leaders have conceded branding power to employee and customer stakeholders. Findings – By highlighting the promising early successes of companies leading this research, this paper demonstrates the potential advantages effective use of customer loyalty and employee engagement indexes can return. By acknowledging the power of these indexes, companies have the unique capability to build integrated communications solutions that address the expectations of both employees and customers, the two most contributory groups in building brand strength. Originality/value – By shedding light on changes in the modern marketplace, this article can help shape thinking on effective ways to leverage human capital in order to maintain and grow brand and reputation.

Article Type:Research paper
Keyword(s):Employees; Customers; Customer loyalty; Brands.
Journal:Journal of Business Strategy
Copyright ©Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Business leaders face a critical paradox in today's corporate context: unique changes and transitions within the business landscape, including digitalization and disintermediation, have prompted a concession of power over corporate reputation and messaging from an elite group of senior managers to stakeholders, including employees and customers. This unprecedented degree of stakeholder empowerment presents executives with the realization that the voice of the customer – not the company – establishes deliverable value, and that internal standards of quality and satisfaction are instrumental in shaping these delivery strategies. Likewise, stakeholder empowerment means that measurable customer insights can (and must) be used to develop programming that drives internal priorities, investments, focus and alignment. This new reality makes finding answers to two key questions (directed at customers and employees, respectively) imperative for business success: 1. Would you recommend this brand, product or service to a friend/colleague? 2. Would you recommend...
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