The Pros and Cons of Hiring Chimps
Rahul Bhui, a grad student in Caltech's department of computational and neural systems, said that the chimps outperformed their human counterparts across the board. They played so well, in fact, that they bumped up against the theoretical success limit identified by Nobel Prize-winning game theorist John F. Nash, jr. (featured in the film "A Beautiful Mind"). 1
"Let's hire more chimps!" you say. Before you call the zoo, you might also want to consider the fact that competition is not always the best feature in an office team. Can you keep the competition aimed at your competitors, not each other?
The reason we don't live on the Planet of the Apes is that humans have the ability to transcend a short term goal for a much better, delayed objective. A successfully competitive individual is a very different animal than a successfully competitive group! Humans have a unique ability to set aside a personal agenda for the purpose of achieving a collective agenda that has the potential to yield much greater results than an individual could accomplish on her own.
While not at chimp level, we're still competitive beings- a great thing when a food supply is limited and there are rivals behind every bush.
But most businesses are a collective effort; so how do we maximize cooperation and save the competitiveness for the marketplace?
How do you attract customers, convert them to buyers, close the sale and exceed their expectations as a team? At United WebWorks, we are partial to internet marketing and inbound marketing as a solution. It not only works for the sales funnel, but can reduce competition between your teams. (Watch for a future blog about this...)
How can you humanize your employees?
Let's face it, Sales doesn’t appreciate internet marketing or any marketing for that matter. And both are suspicious of Customer Service. Sometimes all three act like chimps toward each other:
- Keeping information secret, or hoarded
- Complaining about each other to each other
- Seeing each other as rivals for funding, approval, prestige
- Protecting territory from perceived threats by those outside their specialty
- Embarrassing the company because of the lack of timely cooperation
- Time and energy wasted on protecting their own banana pile
Where to begin?
Establish the facts about your company. Your customers not only buy a product or service, but an entire experience. Marketing creates demand and awareness. Sales can paint a picture of what the buyer can expect, and persuade them to go for it. Customer Service is in charge of keeping the growing number of delighted customers happy.
When a business is small, everyone wears all three hats. When that business hires its first dedicated salesperson, a change begins. What was once an interconnected homogenous clump starts turning into a complex multi-cellular organism. This is not a bad thing.
- Now Marketing is free to give full attention to increasing demand for your product
- Now sales is free to go forth and close deals
- And Customer Service is free to keep customers delighted
Be honest about your core values. Companies that care only about the bottom line will show it. Corners will be cut, staffing will be overworked, quality will be lessened.
Companies that care about valuing customers will spend money and time on it. A look at your strategic plan and budget will tell you a lot about your core values.
At United WebWorks we believe strongly in a team approach. When Sales has a problem, it's everyone's problem. When Marketing comes up with a great solution, everyone celebrates. When customers request a change or ask for advice, anyone is allowed to help. The talented people we have assembled know that they can rely each other.