Leveraging the Service Profit Chain in Your Organization: Getting Started

The service profit chain, illustrated below, is how Infosurv works with clients to maximize the linkages between employees, customers, and business performance.

Each section of the chain builds on the prior phase. While focusing on each section will deliver some benefits to your company, you will get the biggest bang by looking at the process holistically.

But you can’t just jump into the diagram and get started. There are several steps that need to be completed by your organization ahead of time, to gain the ability to implement the service profit chain. And those critical elements mean getting the C-Suite involved.

What You Need to Do First

Plan to be around for the long-term. Sounds a little silly, right? But think about this: of the firms that were on the Fortune 500 in 1955, 88% are gone. Perhaps that is a good thing. Technological advances, mergers and acquisitions, obsolete products – there may be many reasons why firms no longer exist. But for many of them, the problem is a lack of vision and strategy that reflect their changing environment and market dynamics. Those who have survived have been able to reinvent themselves, their markets, and their products and services to remain relevant.

Planning to be around for the long-term means that company leaders have worked together to analyze the business, the environment, and its markets to develop a strategic plan that includes these three items:

  1. Company Mission: Every organization exists to accomplish something, and that purpose must be clearly articulated and communicated throughout the organization. The mission describes the organization’s reason for being and considers the organization’s history, distinctive competencies, and environment. The organization’s mission answers the questions: What is our business? Who are our customers? What do customers value? This company’s mission should be achievable and measurable, but should also motivate everyone in the company to achieve the same objectives.
  2. Company Vision: The organizational vision describes what the world will look like if the organization is successful. It is future oriented and aspirational. It is possible that an organization may never achieve its vision!
  3. Objectives: Organizational objectives quantify what the organization hopes to accomplish within a stated time-period. Objectives provide direction and are converted into specific actions that are then carried out by the business. Objectives also provide the yardstick against which we measure the organization’s accomplishments.

Without these three elements clearly and conscientiously communicated throughout your organization, no business can succeed. Simply put – if you don’t know where you are going, how will you know how to get there? And how will you know if you’ve arrived?

Now You’re Ready! Application to the Service Profit Chain

Without clear direction from the C-Suite, managers will develop their own objectives and goals. And with a little luck, they might all end up working for the same objectives and goals. But why leave it to luck? Top management has a responsibility to provide sound strategic analysis and direction to the company so that everyone is aligned around a specific and clear mission, vision and objectives. And once that happens, you are ready to leverage the service profit chain.

If you are interested in maximizing your business performance by leveraging the service profit chain linkages between employees, customers, and operations, start at the strategic level. If you need help making sure your company is clear and aligned on strategy, it may be time for a discussion within the C-Suite!

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