Moving to a ‘more-for-more’ business culture
In an increasingly competitive environment, business service firms are under mounting pressure from new competitors claiming to be able to ‘do it all’ at a lower cost. These firms may be able to charge a lower price, but invariably this will come at a cost; namely quality of service and expertise.
Customers are savvy and will look for the best deal, so how can you put your business in a position to provide an outstanding service AND justify an increased cost of service? Menzies Business Services Sector believes that you can provide ‘more for more’ and one of the keys to this is through a quality driven culture.
Quality driven culture: what and why?
A quality driven culture is one where those running the business make clear decisions and statements about the values and cultural ethos that they want the company to have. Or to put it another way, what they want their business to be known for.
With focus on these values being adopted, actively promoted and reinforced, they are bought into by everyone in the business. The result can often be two-fold; an increase in employee loyalty and job satisfaction and a growth in the businesses customer base and profits.
An example could be where one of a business’s values is empathy. Following the introduction, promotion and training in the provision of empathy in all areas of the business, directors must then demonstrate their own empathy by listening to their staff’s requirements and acting on these where they can. Only then can they really expect their teams to demonstrate empathy when dealing with customers to provide a better service and secure repeat business.
That’s the theory, but to ensure the survival and success of this new quality driven culture it requires total belief, adoption and reinforcement of the chosen values from higher management.
Who has done it well?
American Express (Amex)
American Express’s mission statement is:
“We have established a culture that supports our team members, so they can provide exceptional service to our customers.”
Their values include Integrity, Teamwork and Personal Accountability. As a result, Amex are known to be different from other credit card providers and have customers who are loyal and only want to use their cards. However, businesses that accept Amex cards pay a higher fee than they would for say, visa and the benefit to these businesses is that they increase their reputation for quality by accepting Amex cards.
Yes, they may not always be in the news for the right reasons, but you can’t deny that they’ve built the premium coffee shop industry. The idea of paying a premium for a cup of coffee just simply didn’t exist 20 years ago. So how have they achieved it?
In part through their values which include:
- Being present, connecting with transparency, dignity and respect.
- “Delivering our very best in all we do, holding ourselves accountable for results”.
These values are driven through every area of their business and as a result Starbucks staff are seen to be positive and friendly.
The future is in ‘more for more’
As we move from a financial crisis to the uncertain future of the European project, it is important to have a solid base in your business to ensure that you don’t just weather the storm, but profit from it by standing out from your competition for being properly prepared and ready for anything.
Supporting the more for more business services culture
We have written a report on how your business could go about applying these principles to your business and what Menzies can do to help.
The customer mantra ‘we want more for less’ seems to crop up with remarkable regularity when discussing budgets and plans for the year ahead.
In this business services sector white paper, we explore the contribution that small and medium-sized business services firms make to the UK economy and how to achieve growth even in uncertain economic times.
Instead of giving into such cost pressures, however, most forward-looking business services firms realise that the key to growth is convincing customers that they are worth ‘more for more’ – but how should they go about it?