Three-quarters or 79 per cent of Australian casual workers say their happiness at work directly impacts on the customer experience they can deliver.

Workforce management solutions provider, Humanforce, conducted a recent survey, which also found that an extremely high proportion of casual workers in Australia are customer facing, with 82 per cent saying they have direct contact with customers and the general public in their job.

Half of casual workers said they are in contact with customers most of the time and 30 per cent indicated that half of their job consisted of contact with customers.

Additionally, 61 per cent of casual workers interacted with customers face-to-face, 16 per cent over the phone or online, and 12 per cent outside of the workplace in public or in homes.

Clayton Pyne, CEO of Humanforce, said that casual workers are the key to the customer relationship in retail, but this is being overlooked by many businesses.

“While many businesses in Australia fully appreciate that just one negative human interaction can make or break customer loyalty, they still aren’t making the connection between the important role that casual workers play in their business’ customer satisfaction levels.”

The survey found four key areas that casual workers said would influence their satisfaction at work. These were workplace pressure (45 per cent), poor workplace culture (39 per cent), inadequate staff engagement (39 per cent), or not receiving enough work hours/shifts (37 per cent).

Encouragingly, 62 per cent of casual workers said they were empowered by their employer, who trusts and supports them in interacting with customers, leaving 38 per cent in a position where they feel like they don’t have freedom in their interactions with customers, which are overseen by their employer.

“This shows that some businesses still do not regard their casual staff highly enough or fail to engage with them properly, so they feel empowered and supported in creating the best customer experiences possible,” added Pyne.

Training, employee rewards, and good communication with their employer are all areas that casual workers identified would help them to deliver higher levels of customer service.

“Positively, again, 69 per cent of casual workers indicated that their employer is already providing specific training and support to help them manage customer relationships, however there is a lot of scope for more businesses to get on board with this and to further engage their casual workers with the other incentives they’re asking for including increased communication and rewards programs.” 

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