Is your best $$$ performer your biggest problem?


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Is your best revenue performer your biggest problem when it comes to improving your Customer Experience? We all know the type of person I am referring to… These are the people who are good at hitting ‘the numbers’ (revenue) year after year. Their ruthless pursuit of the revenue targets may make them a hero within the organization and senior management love them. They are promoted higher and higher in the organization as they hit their numbers year after year. That was OK for the old world, but the new business world demands more. It demands revenue AND improving the Customer Experience. Not just the ‘what’ but the ‘how’ as well. Improving the Customer Experience is also key for the future of the business. Nowadays the organization wants to get the numbers but also provide a good Customer Experience. But will these people change?

When we are talk with senior exec’s we use this four box model to explain the challenge.

Money Machine

There are two axis: Revenue and Customer Experience. Let me briefly explain these boxes.

The ‘Business person’ is the ideal. This is someone who balances achievement of the revenue targets and provides a good Customer Experience at the same time. This is what is needed today.

The ‘job seeker’ is someone at the opposite end; they are not achieving revenue and providing a poor Customer Experience. We call them Job seeker as that is what they will need to do!

The ‘Misguided’ person is too customer focussed. They believe that improving the Customer Experience means doing everything the Customer wants even if it is to the detriment of the organization. This is a common misconception in the early days of an organization that wants to improve their Customer Experience. It is misguided to give customers everything they want, organizations can’t afford that. It’s not appropriate; it doesn’t work and doesn’t make good business sense.

The ‘Money machine’ is the person who will ‘hit the numbers’ year after year but does this to the detriment of the Customer’s experience. It could be they treat Customers as a transaction, cut the service Customers receive or sell them inappropriate services to gain the maximum revenue.

When a company looks to improve their Customer Experience typically the ‘Money Machines’ pay lip service to this change. They believe that senior managers are not really committed, after all revenue is all important, isn’t it? So they carry on in the same way…

Unknowingly this is now the critical point for the organization who wants to focus on Customer Experience. How do senior management react to the ‘Money Machine’? Do they continue to praise them and offer excuses for their behaviour? Or do they say this is unacceptable and coach and develop the person to change? In too many cases a blind eye is turned to the money machine’s continued inappropriate behaviour because senior managers are worried about revenue.

Unbeknown to senior management everyone in the company is watching this…and this is a classic case of the senior manager’s actions speak louder than any words they may use.

I vividly remember two occasions where I have witnessed this. The first was when I was in my last corporate role. I remember a guy who was a ‘Money Machine’. Despite the rhetoric from senior management they did nothing to curb his behaviour. In fact they promoted him! The message was clear. Getting numbers was much more important than improving the Customer Experience.

The second example is of a CEO I was advising. He had a Money Machine person in his team. The CEO tried to coach, change and develop the individual to focus more on the Customer. But the person would not adapt. The CEO sacked him. The organization was stunned. The CEO had sacked one of their best revenue performers because he didn’t focus on the Customer Experience! The message was clear, Customer Experience is important! This was a decisive turning point for this organization and they went onto provide a great Customer Experience AND increase their revenue.

Have your met Money Machines in your organization? How did your senior managers deal with them?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Colin Shaw
Colin is an original pioneer of Customer Experience. LinkedIn has recognized Colin as one of the ‘World's Top 150 Business Influencers’ Colin is an official LinkedIn "Top Voice", with over 280,000 followers & 80,000 subscribed to his newsletter 'Why Customers Buy'. Colin's consulting company Beyond Philosophy, was recognized by the Financial Times as ‘one of the leading consultancies’. Colin is the co-host of the highly successful Intuitive Customer podcast, which is rated in the top 2% of podcasts.


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