How do you build a business people love?
As businesses don’t exist in some utopian universe, we have to earn the respect, loyalty, and ultimately love of our colleagues and customers. This article explores some of the ways we can appreciate the behavioural psychology that motivates people, and how that’s encouraged through the design of our business, organisation, and service.
At Rokker, we speak about ‘building businesses people love’ because people (colleagues and customers) are a central consideration to business success. Without a focused and motivated workforce, businesses struggle and without a customer base, they fail altogether! But some would ask, how do you define a ‘business people love’, let alone build one?
Defining customer love
APCO Worldwide (a communications consultancy) surveyed 70,000 people in 15 countries to develop its list of the world’s 100 most loved companies. They measured eight emotions: admiration, approachability, curiosity, empowerment, identification, pride, relevance, and understanding to prove their hypothesis that
“the best brands are those that build a strong, enduring emotional attachment with consumers”.
At that time, the top 10 ‘most loved’ brands included Netflix and Apple.
Do your employees rate you?
When looking at these top 10 businesses on independent employer review website Glassdoor, another common denominator becomes apparent, employees love them too. The majority gaining above a 4 star rating from employees with above 83% of them recommending their workplace to friends and over 88% approving of the CEO.
So is it the case that brands are more likely to be externally loved if they’re internally loved first?
Chicken or egg?
Gene Hammett is a leading expert on high-growth company culture and leadership whose research outlines that an employee-first mentality helps companies to perform better than their customer-focused competitors. Essentially, when employees love your company and its mission, they’ll be motivated to innovate and succeed for your customers.
A job you love
Whilst one may argue that it’s easy for owners to love a business, and trickier if your role is potentially more mundane and less well paid, research shows that reasons for employee love can transcend the financial. Research undertaken in association with CareerBliss gave ‘bliss scores’ based on employee reviews of eight factors: work-life balance; relationship with co-workers; work environment; job resources; compensation; growth opportunities; company culture; and daily tasks. The most significant determinants were those of positive co-worker relationships, company culture and working environment. Job fulfilment, advancement and a love of daily routine were also routinely cited. So essentially, injecting moments of joy into someone’s working day adds significant value perception.
Belong and believe
Building your business upon a compelling purpose is really central to engaging colleagues, enabling them to live out your values and have a sense of belonging to a community pulling together. Whilst this big picture stuff is important, it’s even more critical to ensure that your people have the job satisfaction that comes from doing good work. This commonly comes from granting autonomy, providing coaching and training, and having servant leaders that support, empower, and acknowledge great work.
Cultivating positive customer emotion and advocacy
Meeting your customers’ expectations should be the base line, with the intent to exceed that leading to greater success. By consistently delivering great products and services they want/need, can rely on, and feel good about buying, they will advocate and champion your brand to others, growing your business organically with their love! The level of customer service you provide will affirm (or potentially undermine) their sense of value and importance to you, regardless of whether things go wrong or right.
Falling in love vs staying in love!
They say that falling in love is easy. Choosing to stay in love is the hard part. Sometimes it’s easier for colleagues and customers to fall in love with the initial attraction, energy and excitement of a new business. For those able to seamlessly segue the expense of attraction into devoting the resources needed to keep that love alive for the longer term, the rewards of retention await.
Where do you start?
Knowledge really is power and so building your understanding through research is critical to success. You can’t build businesses people love without understanding those people in the first place! Our team partner with businesses to help them gain a better understanding of the people that they work with and for. This process incorporates appropriate research techniques which can include surveys, interviews, on-site polls, focus groups, and date reviews across a relevant sample of your audience. The result of this research and insight is the creation of user/player/customer personas.
What are personas?
Personas are essentially fictional characters created to embody and demonstrate common characteristics, behaviours, motivations, attitudes, influences, goals and beliefs that represent segments of the people that you engage with. They can include demographic, ethnographic, contextual, and biographical detail designed to bring a greater level of empathy and understanding for the user/player/customer.
The point of personas
We develop personas as part of our business/service/organisation design service to help the businesses we’re working with gain a better understanding of who they’re working with (or want to work with) and how to engage with them more successfully. These distillations of ‘people types’ can be incredibly useful in guiding the organisational or service design of a business, its products, proposition, and brand direction as you’re able to stand in another’s shoes and understand their pains, gains, frustrations, and elations.
The game plan!
Humans like consistency and clarity. We work with business leaders to achieve that through the development and implementation of actionable strategy. Using the foundations of research we can establish the clarity of vision needed to develop solid strategies for people, product, process and proposition that help to build truly great businesses.
These strategies will commonly include tactical outputs such as;
- strategic evolution of brand communications
- components of organisational design such as the ability to attract, retain, and align talent.
- development of products and services that increase sales and profitability
- improved effective and efficient structures, processes, and service delivery
Ultimately, making a conscious investment in the design of your businesses will enable better (more informed) decision making that is more likely to result in success, whether that be defined by happiness, growth, investment, or acquisition.