The Great Customer Resignation

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Author: David Brock, president, Partners in Excellence

I recently read an article about the coming Great Customer Resignation. The title was actually more interesting than the content of the article, but if you want to read it, there’s a link at the end of this post.

Over the past year or so, we were constantly reminded about the Great Resignation. Many attribute this to experiences through the pandemic, whether it’s WFH or WFA, or rethinking of individual priorities about work and life.

People, by the millions, are changing jobs. Talent retention and acquisition has been one of the key issues facing everyone from my local contractor to the largest organizations in the world. Millions of people are leaving the “traditional,” workforce looking for something different.

None of this is a surprise, we’ve seen plummeting employee engagement for years (not just in sales). In selling, we’ve seen plunging tenure, skyrocketing attrition, and continued declines in results. People are making different choices, often chasing the money, but more often looking for workplaces where they are valued, where leadership genuinely cares about them, their growth and engagement.

The Satisfaction Correlation

We also know there is very strong correlation between customer and employee engagement/satisfaction. For years, we’ve had data showing the linkage between employees and customers. The lower the satisfaction of employees, the lower the satisfaction of customers.

Intuitively, it makes sense. If we have pissed-off people interacting with our customers, the likelihood the customer will have an “outstanding experience,” is very low.

It stands to reason if our employees are disengaged, if they are choosing to do different things with their lives or to seek different types of work, there will be a rollover impact on customers–not only our ability to acquire customers, generate revenue, but, also, retaining and growing customers.

Like our people, our customers are looking for meaning in their relationships with us. They want suppliers that care about them, their success, and their well being. They want suppliers committed to helping them achieve their goals, suppliers who understand them, what they face, and what they are trying to achieve. They want sales people that help them make sense of what they are facing, who can help them better understand their choices and impact, and to help them gain confidence in the decisions they make. They want partners who help them succeed in getting the outcomes expected at purchase.

And they will choose vendors that demonstrate these in their actions, values, and purpose. And if they don’t see this, every day, they will go someplace else.

This should not be a surprise. As we look at increasing buyer regret, as we see challenges in renewal/retention. As we find established customers looking elsewhere. As customers choose not to make a buying decision.

The Customer Resignation is Already Here

The Great Customer Resignation is already here!

There is a silver lining to the dark cloud. It doesn’t take a lot to start changing this, both with our employees and our customers (and we can’t do one without impacting the other). They want employers/suppliers that care, that understand them. They want employers/suppliers interested in their success, development and growth.

We have the opportunity to act, to take advantage of this, to succeed with our people and customers. We just have to choose and commit to this strategy, demonstrating that in our leadership, executing it every day. Afterword: Article referenced: Is A Great Customer Resignation Resignation Next?


Contributed blog courtesy of Partners in Excellence, and authored by David Brock, president at Partners in Excellence. Read more contributed blogs from David Brock here.

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