By incorporating the different aspects of the business success trifecta into your organization, you will effectively attract customers--and ultimately, profit-- to your business like a moth to a flame. What is the business success trifecta? It is the powerful cumulation of your unique selling proposition, the service-profit chain, and your employees.
Your Unique Selling Proposition
Your business’s unique selling proposition is what sets you apart in a marketplace flooded by similar businesses with offerings quite like yours. It is the fire you light to attract customers to your business.
For a shoe salesperson, it may be their handcrafted soles or patented stitching methods.
For a distributor, it may be their knowledge of multiple products that could help their customers.
For a tech company, it may be software that helps with fraud and risk.
One florist may be able to ship flowers across the country with the click of a button, while another-- like Bloom-- focuses on a designing a customized approach that elicits an emotional response to the customers and guests of the businesses who use their service.
While businesses often look at large-scale ways to increase their bottom line, they often forget one key aspect of their unique selling proposition:
At the end of the day, many of us are selling the same products with slight (if any) variances. The only real difference in our business is the people we employ. As the saying goes, your people are the greatest asset of your business. That’s where the Service-Profit chain comes into effect.
What is the Service-Profit Chain?
The service-profit chain shows the important relationships between your employee satisfaction, customer loyalty, and ultimately the profitability of your business. Think about it: your customer loyalty happens when your customer feels their needs are filled to their satisfaction. This satisfaction comes from not only having a quality product, but also the hard work and dedication of your employees.
Employees work hard when they feel appreciated and well compensated for their efforts. When we think of compensation, we consider payment and benefits. However, most would agree that there is more to being happy in the workplace then taking home a paycheck. The steps employers take to make processes more streamlined for their employees, as well as empowering them to know how to do their job well, are also key contributors to employee satisfaction, and hence, customer satisfaction and profitability.
Satisfied Employees = Satisfied Customers
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes for a moment. Imagine yourself calling to report a problem with the product or service you purchased. The employee on the other line sounds disheartened and apathetic. You end up with the feeling that they think they are doing you a favor by taking your call.
Now rewind and imagine that the person who answers the phone sounds enthusiastic and empathetic. You can tell they don’t just feel like they’re doing their job, they truly want to help you. Which experience sticks with you when a friend or colleague asks about your experience with the business you purchased from?
Your employees, particularly the frontline employees, are the face of your business. They work hand-in-hand with your brand to not only sell your offering but sell the idea of your business as a whole. You see this often with airlines. Both your favorite airline and the competitor might offer comparable loyalty rewards, similar prices, and the same routes. However, there is something about your favorite that sets them apart. If you can’t put your finger on what it is, then it is probably the employees.
Various case studies have put this theory to practice. One such case study by the Harvard Business Review showed a startling increase in a business’s employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, and employee effectiveness after implementing an employee development program. The proof is in the results.
Coaching to Maximize Your USP
In the business success trifecta, you have your unique selling proposition, the service-profit chain, and your employees. If you brush away the fancy business terminology, the statistics, and the information overload, your success ultimately comes down to one thing:
The initiatives that the people in leadership positions take will ultimately drive the people (employees) who drive the business. Rather than thinking “how can I make my employees drive profits?” think “how can I help them help me?”
To get the results you desire, you have to invest in your people. Take a close look at the executives in your organization. Are they effective leaders? Are your managers managing or are they actively leading? The goal of executive team leads should not just be to manage subordinates but to create a new group of leaders.
This is why it is so crucial to coach your employees. Coaching is improving performance through building people and helping them achieve their full potential. Effective coaching has been shown to:
Increase average productivity by 19%,
Improve employee satisfaction and retention.
Promote a 5-10x ROI on coaching expenditures.
Find out what your individual employees’ values are. Help them reach their goals and feel empowered to take on new challenges both within and outside the organization. Give opportunities for one-on-one coaching, consultation with external experts, and group sessions.
By taking the time to understand the motivations of your employees and by communicating with them effectively and authentically, you will see a drastic change in engagement. Conduct personality assessments. Look at the individuals and your culture as a whole. How does everyone mesh? Where does the cohesion need some extra glue?
Imagine yourself standing before two salespeople. Each has a product you want with a unique selling proposition that speaks to you. However, one of them is smiling and looks eager to be of service while the other is glassy-eyed and slouching. Who do you choose? The flame that’s burning brightest.
Meredith Wailes is the President of Bloom Leadership, a cutting-edge platform for business growth with a focus on Whole Person Development. Meredith works with both men and women to break communication barriers and coach her clients to success, both at an executive and ground-floor level. For more information visit Meredith on LinkedIn and Twitter.