The Janitorial Service Profit Chain

Several years ago, I stumbled across an academically oriented business book titled The Service Profit Chain. I later discovered the authors had written an article published in the Harvard Business Review on the same topic. Here was their thesis: Profitable customers relationship are the result of a thriving employee culture. Essentially, they make the connection between happy and motivated employees and customers who are happy and profitable. At first glance, you are tempted to think this is overly simplistic…I understand that temptation. However, let’s take a look at the steps in the service profit chain and see how they relate to the janitorial industry.



So let’s break down the service profit chain, step by step.

  • Company profitability (and hence revenue growth) are the result of customer loyalty.
  • Customer loyalty, all things being equal, is a result of customer satisfaction.
  • Customer satisfaction is a result of the perceived value they get from your service.
  • Employee retention and productivity are the key factors in creating value for the customer (this is especially true in our industry).
  • Employee retention and productivity are most greatly affected by employee satisfaction.
  • Employee satisfaction is a direct result of the culture in your company.

If you are in the janitorial industry, you can see the relevance of this proposal. The culture of your company, and specifically it’s impact on the front line workers, will be a major factor in the overall success of your company.



Think of specific ways you can improve the culture for the cleaning staff in your BSC. If you want profit, focus on your cleaners a bit more. How can you make positive changes in the next 2-3 months?


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