When implementing the philosophy of the Service Profit Chain, we often look at three core parts:
And all three are driven by the continuous development of your team.
Employee engagement is closely linked to job content. What do I get to do at work (the other part of a job is job context which is all about the condition you get to do your work in)? A key component of job content is the perception that I am growing and developing myself.
Any book or article you read about creating a customer-centric approach inevitably will talk about value. If we are not providing value, we do not have a business, not for very long at least. But values in a service business is a result of employee competencies. This has to do with the notion that services are asymmetric in their nature. What the client buys is not what we sell. The client has a need and we translate that need into our product. If you are going to do that better than your competition, it requires competent people.
And finally, customer loyalty is developed through skillful interaction that produces an emotional connection with our customers. Delivering the basic product according to specifications just ensures satisfaction; getting to loyalty requires so much more.
So you can do what many organisations do, hope that they will improve as they go.
Or you can do what the top performing service companies do, you can develop a culture of continuous improvement and learning that drives everything that you do.
If you are wondering what works best, let me help you…
Think about any type of human endeavour where we can observe that high performance is vastly different from just ordinary performance. Playing the piano, ballet dancing or competitive swimming just to name a few. In virtually every arena in which we observe excellence, we also see a commitment to continuous improvement…
We also know from research on learning that if you are good at something and you just do what you are good at every day, your performance will gradually deteriorate and get worse. Don’t believe me? So if you have had a drivers licence for more than 5 years, do you think you could pass a driver’s test tomorrow? See what I mean?
Only if you continue to practice can you maintain or even improve your performance.
So how do we build continuous perfomance into our day to day work? What can we do to make sure that our people are always learning and developing? That is going to be the theme for my next series of blog posts.