Rich White writes on how to leverage your profit and growth through customer loyalty
Let’s demystify a common bit of management jargon right out the blocks – starting with ‘Service Profit Chain’. It’s about how the value that your business ultimately provides is actually driven by your employee’s satisfaction, loyalty and productivity. In the search to reach the maximum customer satisfaction you should turn your thoughts to how you engage with your employees.
Thousands of organisations worldwide have used the Service Profit Chain concept to improve their business performance. Think of it as a management tool for understanding the profitability of your consumer-oriented, or ‘service’ business. It calls into use the three R’s of marketing: Retention, Referrals and Related sales, all of which pose a series of questions for your management team.
Questions like; “How can we help employees become so enthusiastic for their organisation that they go out and ‘infect’ countless customers with a similar loyalty, and dedication?” Or, “How do we create customers that are so satisfied with their experience that they share their stories with others and persuade them to try our product?” If you can answer these, they will provide you with ever-valuable constructive criticism and possibly even new product ideas.
Understanding relationships between customer satisfaction and employee productivity is the key to raising the ‘ownership quotient’ among both your employees and your customers. One of our most cherished clients, a major blue-chip consumer brand, put it this way;
When our employees are satisfied and engaged, the tangible result is deeper customer satisfaction. Our work with incentivesmart has resulted in our team members being happier and more engaged than ever before, and that engagement is showing up on our bottom-line.
Treating your employees well builds brand loyalty
Research shows that customers are willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that prioritise their employee’s well-being. So, employee satisfaction is a ‘no-brainer’, but getting it right needs careful introspection and planning.
Here’s our quick tips for growing workplace engagement and satisfaction
Gain actionable customer intelligence Obviously, there is always a case for treating employees well. But how, in a world full of customer data, do you apply what’s useful and what will actually drive sales amid all the information clutter? Better business intelligence drives growth and profitability, and we believe that your most valuable data source is your employees – your people on the front line.
Engaging with employees on a regular basis can give you deep insights into what influences the customer experience Does a new servicing schedule take longer to undertake than expected? Are the new POS terminals confusing customers and slowing down payments? Do staff rotas and resourcing reflect foot-flow? Your employees know the answers to these questions and this data, once properly gathered and analysed, is a critical link in the Profit Service Chain.
Go for quick wins in improving employee engagement Employee engagement remains a topic that challenges employers globally, According to Gallup’s 142-country survey ‘State of the Global Workplace’, only one in eight workers are psychologically committed to their work and are likely to make positive contributions to their organisations. So, providing the right incentive is critical.
Provide the right incentives Your employees are far more likely to participate if they know they are contributing to the overall improvement of their workplace. Make sure you take the time to update your employees on what you did with their feedback – be specific.
Engage regularly Don’t just wait for those annual feedback/engagement meetings or surveys. Get frequent feedback throughout the year to maximise the potential within your employee engagement.
Create a dialogue Loyalty is a characteristic trait. Those who have it, give it free of charge. So, cultivate it! Maintaining a two-way conversation with all employees is a great way to identify areas for improvement. Close that feedback loop and show that you’re actively listening and taking on board their insights and opinions.
Leverage ‘always-on’ reporting Always-on means always-live. Being able to see at a moment's glance the state of your employee engagement – at all levels – by using reports and a dashboard that has insightful data and easy to understand graphics. This will help you to deliver a greater return on your investment and make it easier for your HR team to keep a finger on the pulse of your workforce disposition.
Talk to the author At incentivesmart, we acknowledge that your Service Profit Chain will continually be evolving and that to master all the elements is not a once-off achievement. It’s about investing in a better understanding of your employees and using technology where you can to unlock actionable insight about your company’s culture with the intention of measuring employee engagement.
For more information on how to drive improvements within your Service Profit Chain and also improve customer experience, contact Rich White on 0845 003 003 or shoot him an email at email@example.com or via social media