7 Steps to Increasing Profitability with Great People Leadership

Photograph of Jenefer Livings, Founder of Silk Helix Ltd
29 June 2021
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Retaining customers, the often forgotten strand of the marketing plan, yet far cheaper and easier than finding new ones.

You spend time on social media, you’re promoting your business and driving new customers in but what about repeatable business? Customers who not only come back but they tell their friends about you? Those valuable customers who do your marketing for you.

How do you lead a team who deliver such exceptional service that your customers are raving fans?

1. Recruit and lead with values

I just need people to do the job! I get it, you’re busy, you need people. Start at the beginning and you’ll get the right people. The right people will grow your business.

Write down your business values. Company values ensure all your team are working to a common goal. Common values support teamwork as well as job satisfaction. When you recruit according to these values you know you are getting people who already have the right attitude.

Treat your people in line with these values and they will treat your customers in line with them.

2. Your vision, Your mission

Your vision and mission statements sit alongside your values. This makes it completely clear to your whole team what you do and how you serve your customers.

This sets the expectations and when you can share this in the recruitment process you will recruit people who want to meet those expectations.

In your mission statement you make a promise to your customers, it forms a valuable part of your marketing. Everything you do should also promote this to your team. Put it on walls, on the cover of notebooks, make it central to everything you do. This is the only way your team will be super focused on delivering your mission as promised to your customers.

3. Job Descriptions

Job descriptions that are just a list of tasks can be of limited help in getting the best out of people, particularly when the tasks are achieved but not in the right way. The job description should outline not just the tasks but also the attitude. Think about those non-job roles such as their role within the team, leadership roles and continuous improvement. The job description should be a framework of what great performance looks like in your business.

Consider those tasks that may not immediately feel core to the role but are essential to the business. Upselling maybe one of those tasks, a great way to increase customer value but often left to chance. Do you want your team selling or adding value to the customer experience? The job description should detail how “upselling” looks in your business and you may not even use that term. Detail how this should be done to enhance the customer experience and that it is a key responsibility. Not only are you delivering exceptional customer service, you’re also increasing the value of those customers.

4. Set Expectations

Your values, vision, mission and job description are all part of setting your expectations. Take those and put them into individual objectives and key performance indicators that you can measure.

Key performance indicators without the values, vision, mission and job description risk people hitting the target without considering the customer experience you want to give. There is always more than one way to hit a target, so make the rules of the game clear.

5. Data

Use data to demonstrate how each individual is contributing to the overall goal of the organisation.

Knowing the numbers puts you in control of your business, it makes it easy to see when improvements are made and when performance drops.

Never rely on numbers alone, data enables you to ask the right questions. Understand why the data reads as it does and what it’s really telling you.

6. Give Feedback

Feedback is the crucial link, there is no point doing all the expectation setting and data collecting without then telling people how they’re doing.

With the right expectations and data, people often know themselves how they’re doing. Many people will be motivated by seeing their own progress in the data. This is a great place to be. Your ideal person is delivering excellence and is self-motivated to improve their stats - they won’t stay this way very long if they never feel appreciated.

Thanking, congratulating and encouraging are as important as raising concerns. When you do need to raise concerns, use all the data and your detailed expectations to be really specific about the gaps in performance or the action that needs to change.

7. Motivate

Keep people motivated, remind them of your why, your vision and mission. Demonstrate what they are achieving and be open about what the business is achieving. Celebrate wins together. Get everyone involved in continuous improvement.

Posters on walls, team meeting reminders and discussions about what you’re aiming for and what you’re achieving are great motivators. Don’t forget to thank and congratulate individuals, people who don’t feel appreciated will quickly give up the effort or move on.

Get all 7 steps in place and you’ll have a team that is delivering such a great customer experience that your customers will not only return again and again but they’ll be telling everyone they know about you!

Experts in HR for Small Business

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