Formula for success in service business

An event called Lucky Friday is an excellent example how an organization can share learnings and bring up positive and productive atmosphere.

Annastiina Palmroth-Holst, Business Unit Director of pharmaceutical services in Finland, gets excited when she is talking about the formula for success in service business. She is convinced that the key to success is a winning employee and customer experience.

Annastiina Palmroth-Holst was one of the Keynote speakers at Customer Experience Management Day on 10 October 2018. The event gathered together customer experience professionals to discuss about customer experience and to get inspired by the best tips to develop and lead customer experience.

The point of view in Palmroth-Holst´s presentation was how to create people centric culture that builds a strong customer experience and successful business. She highlighted that companies´ most important goal is to help their customers to succeed. When a customer succeeds, so does the company. Palmroth-Holst has crystallized her thoughts in a formula for successful service business: Ex + Cx = Sx (Employee experience + Customer experience = Success).

Behind a winning customer experience there is always a great employee experience. An employee experience is comprised of each employee and the organisation they create, aiming to help their customers to succeed. How to build high-performing teams and achieve this kind of ambition?

"I strongly believe that motivation to help customers to succeed is achieved when each employee has a chance to develop his or her strengths, opportunity to grow and succeed, participate and feel appreciated and work in a team that supports these targets. It is important that each employee has a clear vision of the direction and targets to head for with his or her team team, organization and customers. This all needs to be lead systematically", says Palmroth-Holst.

Common direction for the customer

Last year the business unit for pharmaceutical services in Finland organized a project called ´Common direction for the customer´. The project lasted a year and the whole organization took part in it. During the project, internal cooperation was strengthened, the meaning of values was discussed and common working methods were developed. All these actions aimed to find the best solutions to help our customers to succeed. An important aspect of the project was that all employees had a chance to participate and build a common direction together.

"Our everyday working guidelines are the outcome of the project: everyone is important, be bold in experimenting and encourage others", describes Palmroth-Holst.

Palmroth-Holst believes that the role of a leader is to help his or her team to succeed. An important guideline is to listen and ask more than talk and advice. This goes for leadership as well as customer cooperation.

Oriola knows the value chain of medicines from clinical trials to selling the medicines to consumers and patients. Our service portfolio is built to support each part of the value chain. Winning customer experience is created at Oriola with a customer focused service portfolio and committed teams of experts.

"What makes us stand out is our understanding of customers’ needs and capability to offer the right services to the right customer at the right time. We are also keen to offer our customers new kind of solutions and develop new ways to proceed in different situations", notes Palmroth-Holst.

Decisions are often based on emotion and justified by sense

The importance of emotions in business life is currently a hot topic. Top-level expertise and superior know-how are not a guarantee for a successful business, even when operating in B2B field.

"Decisions are often validated through facts but emotions, especially trust, play a significant role in decision-making", remarks Palmroth-Holst.

Trust is crucially important and it is a result of a long-term cooperation that requires an open and active dialogue with the customer, genuine interest towards customers´ needs and continuous development.

Palmroth-Holst says that she uses a reflection model in her daily work and recommends it also for others. In the reflection model, the following questions are asked and answered, for example after different projects or meetings: where did we succeed, what would we do differently, what did we learn and how will we proceed.

Feelings must be considered when dealing with customers as well as employees. An event called Lucky Friday is an excellent example how an organization can share learnings and bring up positive and productive atmosphere.

"Our organization gathers on a monthly basis to discuss what kind of successes we have had and what have we learnt. Often great new ideas arise from colleagues’ experiences. An enthusiastic and positive atmosphere encourages employees to be innovative and supports continuous learning and development", says Palmroth-Holst.