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How To Use Employee Recognition for Customer Service Teams

Author: Ravijojla Novakovic Last updated: March 5, 2024 Reading time: 10 minutes

Employee recognition is crucial to companies’ business success. Learn in what specific ways it improves customer and employee satisfaction.

There are several aspects that influence your customer satisfaction, one of which is employee recognition for customer service. 

Improving customer satisfaction is frequently one of the main goals of customer-facing businesses. However, this task is not easy since customer satisfaction depends on several factors. 

There are no quick fixes to this issue. Business owners must understand that improving customer satisfaction is a multifaceted matter and that it requires long-term commitment and continuous attention. 

One thing is certain: employee recognition improves customer satisfaction. 35% of companies that have recognition programs noticed an increase in customer satisfaction. In this article, you will find out how to influence customer satisfaction by recognizing your employees and what the specific causal links are between the treatment of your employees and customer satisfaction. 

This article delves into the transformative power of acknowledging and rewarding employees’ efforts in the realm of customer service. Discover how effective employee recognition for customer service can boost customer satisfaction, foster loyalty, and ultimately drive your business success. 

What Influences Customer Satisfaction? 

Several aspects influence your customer satisfaction, and the importance of each factor is different for different products and their types. For example, customer satisfaction for a beauty product will mostly be influenced by its quality, while customers of an electric provider will mostly focus on its price. 

However, influences on customer satisfaction can be grouped into three main categories. 

1. Customer service 

Customers are looking for high-quality customer service that will help them resolve their issues. 

One of the most common complaints regarding customer service is its slowness to respond and its inability to resolve the issue at hand. Therefore, customer service should be timely and efficient. This also means that employees in the customer service department should be productive and well-trained. 

2. Quality of work

Obviously, one of the main factors influencing customer satisfaction is the quality of the product. There are also different aspects of quality that customers will focus on depending on the product at hand. 

For example, if the product at hand is software, it will have to be accessible, easy to use, fast, and more. On the other hand, the quality of some products is more one-dimensional, for example, in the case of consumer goods like clothing, food, or jewelry. 

3. Customer perception 

An often neglected category of customer satisfaction is customer perception. This includes customers’ perception of the product’s brand and their perception of value for money. 

In other words, if the customer perceives the customer service as lackluster, they’re going to have negative perceptions of the brand as well, and that should be avoided at all costs.  

4. A friendly attitude of the customer service team

Great customer service can only happen when employees have a great attitude. This means staying friendly regardless of the customer’s behavior, keeping their head cool, and being able to handle difficult situations.

If companies want to keep their customers happy, their service team members need to demonstrate positive company values with every interaction.

How Do You Improve Customer Satisfaction With Employee Recognition for Customer Service?

Since employees are the ones creating the product, raising brand awareness of it, and handling customer complaints, positive feedback, and compliments – they are at the very core of your customer satisfaction. So, the question remains: does employee recognition for customer service translate into improved customer satisfaction?

customer satisfaction index


Unfortunately, customer satisfaction in the U.S. has been steadily dropping for years.

Customer satisfaction in the U.S. is now at its lowest level in 17 years, sliding 0.1% to a score of 73.2 (out of 100) in the first quarter of 2022, according to the National American Customer Satisfaction Index.

Of course, there are plenty of answers online. Here are some of the suggestions by Callminer

  • Treating customers like you would want to be treated 
  • Providing multichannel support 
  • Shortening waiting times 
  • Demonstrating product knowledge 
  • Offering proactive customer service 
  • Studying complaints and compliments 
  • Asking for more feedback 
  • Turning customer data into action. 

The interesting thing is – all the methods for improving customer satisfaction have a single starting point: employees. You need motivated employees that will productively resolve customer complaints. You need proactive employees who will be able to predict possible concerns to be raised by customers. You need innovative employees who will create a high-quality product that customers will love. 

How Will Employee Recognition Impact Your Customer Service Employees?

Employee recognition significantly influences staff morale and job satisfaction. Acknowledging employees’ contributions and achievements fosters a positive work environment, boosts their motivation, and encourages them to maintain high-performance levels. 

This recognition can take various forms, such as praise in team meetings, awards, or even simple thank-you notes. By understanding the profound impact of employee recognition, businesses can implement effective strategies to appreciate their workforce, thereby enhancing productivity and fostering a culture of excellence. 

This approach not only benefits the employees and the organization but also contributes to the company’s overall success.

Long story short – happy employees equal happy customers. If you want a better product and better customer service, you need to engage your employees. Highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability. 

Moreover, the road to high employee engagement starts with employee appreciation. Learn in what specific ways employee recognition affects customer satisfaction. 

1. Employee recognition increases employee engagement 

engaged employees are more innovative

According to Gallup, employee disengagement costs US businesses $500 billion per year in lost productivity. This speaks volumes about the importance of employee engagement. It is the most popular HR metric, and this is no surprise since it has an immense impact on workplaces and, in the end, on business results. 

So, where is the direct link between employee engagement and customer satisfaction? Well, engaged employees are just that: more engaged in their work. Your customer service representatives will be more likely to resolve your customers’ issues, and your product team will deliver more innovative solutions. As research shows, 59% of engaged employees say that their job brings out their most creative ideas, compared to only 3% of disengaged employees. 

So, where does employee recognition fit in? Well, it is essential for employee engagement. Namely, 58% of employees say that their leaders could engage them better by recognizing them.  

The relationship between employee recognition and engagement relies on basic psychological principles. People who feel appreciated and whose hard work is noticed will be more inclined to continue with such practices than those whose input is disregarded or who don’t know if the work they do is important. 

2. Employee recognition boosts employee motivation 

percentage of employees who are motivated because of appreciation

Motivation can be intrinsic or extrinsic. In other words, employees can be motivated to perform their duties because they genuinely love what they do or because they are somehow rewarded for their work. In this sense, rewards do not necessarily have to be items or money – they can also be positive feedback on work. 

Just think about it: if you do a good job and your manager acknowledges it, you will be more motivated than if you continuously do a good job and never get appreciated for it. You may not even be aware of the fact that you did a good job.

This logic is also supported by research: 93% of employees who feel appreciated by their employers are motivated to do their best work. Therefore, your employees will be more motivated to improve the company’s product or give better employee service, thus improving customer satisfaction. 

3. Employee recognition improves company culture 

Company culture is somewhat of an elusive term. Simply put, this concept captures the work atmosphere and relationships between employees on a cumulative level. 

However, company culture is critical to businesses. More than 50% of CEOs in this study said that company culture influences employee productivity, creativity, profitability, company value, and growth rates. 

The effect of toxic company culture is evident in low employee morale, poor engagement rates, and lack of collaboration between employees. This kind of culture is hindering all aspects of business. 

Luckily, employee recognition helps to improve employee relations and bring more positivity to the workplace. 50% of employees say that being thanked by managers builds trust with their higher-ups.

If the setting is right and you create a place where employees feel comfortable working if they know they can rely on their colleagues and they are motivated by the office atmosphere, improvement of your customer satisfaction will naturally follow. 

4. Employee recognition supports employee learning and development 

In order to improve the quality of your products, step up your brand awareness initiatives, and increase the quality of your customer service, your employees need to continuously learn and grow in their roles. We live and work in a fast-paced environment where means to improve are readily available, and customers expect their products to follow the newest trends. 

Therefore, you need to offer as many employee development opportunities as possible. Your customer service representatives must know of the newest product updates, and they must train to be more resilient in resolving your customers’ issues. Moreover, your product team needs to constantly learn and implement the newest industry trends to increase quality. 

Luckily, employee recognition facilitates employee learning and development in more than one way. First, it is conducive to positive company culture – and 70% of the learning on the job occurs informally, many of which fall onto learning from your peers. 

Second, you can encourage employee growth by tying specific learning and development outcomes to your employee recognition program. A good example is rewarding employees for finishing certain courses – which you can outline in detail in their employee development plans. 

5. Employee recognition encourages innovation 

recognition sparks innovation

Every company needs to innovate to remain competitive. In fact, innovation on all fronts is absolutely crucial for companies in tech and telecom industries

However, if companies want their employees to innovate, they must create proper conditions for it. No one will innovate and create better solutions for your customers in a workplace that does not appreciate their efforts. This is why 88% of employees who receive strong performance recognition are proactively innovating. 

Here are some free resources you can use to improve your employee recognition efforts: 

Employee appreciation email templates 

Employee anniversary messages 

Employee appreciation quotes  

Constructive feedback examples


In conclusion, the role of employee recognition in customer service cannot be overstated. It is the cornerstone of customer satisfaction, influencing every aspect, from the quality of the product to the perception of the brand. 

Recognizing and appreciating employees not only boosts their engagement and productivity but also translates into a better customer experience. As businesses strive to improve customer satisfaction, it is essential to remember that it all starts with the employees. 

By fostering a culture of employee recognition platform, businesses can ensure that their employees are motivated and engaged, ultimately leading to happier customers. Therefore, employee recognition for customer service is not just a strategy but a necessity for any business aiming for success in today’s customer-centric market.

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