Customer service agents who also do volunteer work are 11% more likely to be among the highest performers for the Customer Satisfaction Ratings Test (CSAT), according to a research study conducted by Drexel University for customer service software provider Zendesk. This article is copyright 2018 The Best Customer Guide.

The study was commissioned to explore an apparent link between employees volunteering and both customer and employee satisfaction. Employees who volunteered at least four times between January and August of 2017 were three times more likely to be among the highest performers in terms of empathy, as measured by Zendesk quality assurance.

The survey also found that volunteering is associated with:

  • Increased Help-Seeking Behavior - the more agents volunteered together, the more they felt comfortable seeking help from their peers at work;
  • More Empathetic Behavior - Encouraging advocates to "put themselves in the shoes" of individuals within communities facing difficulties has a "spill-over effect" where advocates then more easily "put themselves in the shoes" of customers;
  • Increased Job Satisfaction - Advocates at Zendesk said that CSR makes them more loyal to Zendesk, more satisfied in their job, and instills in them a greater pride in the surrounding community.

"The Drexel survey findings put numbers behind what we at Zendesk have felt for years - that there is a strong correlation between encouraging employees to contribute to the communities around them and making them more engaged employees in the workplace," explained Tiffany Apczynski, Zendesk's VP of Public Policy & Social Impact. "Customer service comes down to relationships, and volunteering helps strengthen interpersonal skills. We hope that other companies will be inspired by these results to make social responsibility efforts an integral part of their company culture."