…of Serving Clients Exceptionally Well”
Every once in a while, we get into a conversation with leaders about profit and how to improve profit margins and profitability. Before we get too far into the discussion, I make sure we are in agreement on what profit is in the context of leadership. Without that level-set, the conversation can dramatically bypass the key decisions needed to truly enjoy the profitability the leader is looking to achieve.
Because we’ve had several of these conversations recently, it made sense to share what I believe is the essence of sustainable profitability. The title quote comes from Katherine Mauzy, the Head of Financial Advisor Talent Acquisition at Edward Jones. For context, earlier this year Edward Jones was named one of FORTUNE Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For”, the 20th year they’ve made this list! Let’s go ahead and break down her quote from a leadership perspective.
- Profit is a By-Product ~ Simply stated, profit is a result of decisions made in the past. Typically, this may be the past quarter or even last year depending on the type of business and the markets the business operates in. Regardless, it is a lagging indicator for the business which, by definition, it is a derivative of some other actions. Unfortunately, we still see too many leaders default to short term measures to improve profit like cutting away too much talent or other spreadsheet engineering tactics versus taking a sustainable long-term approach that drives client loyalty!
- Serving Clients ~ The desired results of serving clients is much, much more that client satisfaction. I would suggest if clients are satisfied the business is doing a good job of servicing them. Serving, not servicing, clients suggests a higher business goal of client loyalty. Creating loyal clients requires creating a memorable experience with every interaction building an emotional connection to the business. Statistically, loyal clients, those who are fully engaged in the business, represent less than 30% of the total business and yet are likely contributing significantly more than 30% to the business profitability!
- Exceptionally Well ~ The dictionary defines exceptional with terms like unusual and not- typical while terms like phenomenal, remarkable and unprecedented are also synonymous with exceptional. Clearly, doing anything at an exceptional level requires an outcome that is well above the norm or average in the business. I recently spoke to a group about an idea where they recognized it would take extra effort to do albeit with a higher payoff at the end. My reply was that, yes, a higher level of effort would be required, yet they would likely be the only ones putting in that level of effort. The same is true for serving clients exceptionally well. It requires more attention but so few are actually doing it making it worth the effort!
When all is said and done, clients do not want your business to make it right. They want you and your business to get it right!
How is your business serving clients exceptionally well?
Lead exceptionally well!