It has long been believed that to deliver high levels of customer satisfaction, a company needs to have satisfied staff.

But is this true?

It is one of those maxims that is always trotted out and it seems instinctively right.

Companies that research their customers often report that the way that staff deal with customers often has a very significant impact on satisfaction, repurchase intention and advocacy propensity.

And so, it goes, you need to ensure that your staff are satisfied to ensure that they are in the right frame of mind to offer the friendly, effective service that customers crave.

Last week, I listened to a presentation by the head of customer research for one of the UK’s major retail banks.

He told the invited audience that its research showed no link between the satisfaction of staff in a branch with the satisfaction of customers that bank there.

In this bank, there is no statistical correlation between staff satisfaction and customer satisfaction.

The interesting thing about this case is that the bank knows of the lack of correlation because it has the data.

More importantly, it has architected a measurement system that enables it to understand the linkages between customers’ attitudes and behaviours and other performance indicators.

It is this integration of measures that drive real insight. Intuition is nothing more than the ability to spot patterns earlier than others. Insight enables intuition.

Insight becomes easier when data from different sources are integrated; where like can be compared with like.

This takes careful planning. Too many organisations lack this ability.

Great business managers often say that they rely on their intuition. I suspect that they are more intuitive because they have more data points to help them build a richer picture of what is happening.

David Jackson is the Managing Director of