This Case is about LEADERSHIP
PUBLICATION DATE: July 01, 2015 PRODUCT #: SMR524-PDF-ENG
Throughout the years, the media and academia have paid close attention to various customer-driven strategies – aimed at improving measures such as customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and company profits. Nevertheless, the focus has changed. There’s an increasing interest in understanding the effect of workers on the bottom line even though the capability to deliver a great service or product to customers who need it and will willingly pay for it is still viewed as the essential factor to success. Some businesses that are considering investing in better-skilled and more service-oriented workforces ought to not be any surprise. With technical advances, increasing competition and globalization, many businesses, particularly those selling services, have come to realize that worker costs are more than a cost: Employees are the face of the company and sources of innovation and organizational knowledge. They interact with customers at every touch point and create lasting brand impressions. They interact with customers at every touch point and create lasting brand impressions. They personify the company’s service philosophy and are expected to live by its culture and values. Exceptional service may be a competitive advantage while the products and services that many businesses offer can seem fairly similar on the surface. Competing through service is just possible when the organization treats its workers as a useful resource. Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, repeated this perspective: “[Workers] are the actual ambassadors of our brand, the actual retailers of love story and theatre, and as such the main drivers for pleasing customers.” For the last two decades, worker engagement really has been a subject of interest in the academic literature and among supervisors.