As a BCorp, we strive to make our processes transparent to our clients, our team members, our vendors and those who consider partnering with us. From time to time, we publish internal communications to help us achieve our transparency goals. Here is a letter to our team members underscoring the importance of our client partnerships and how we all can ensure that we are always acting in the interest of a healthy relationship.
I wanted to take a minute to talk about our connections to clients. As a start-up, we don't have many yet and that is by design. I know from experience that client partnerships are can be challenging - attracting them, contracting with them, getting to know their processes and building trust. We want to ensure that we partner with quality organizations interested in building a close-knit team for our mutual benefit.
As part of maintaining those tight relationships with clients, I work hard to anticipate our partner's needs, I press them to do better and I respectfully let them know when their processes, actions or systems don't serve their customers or our partnership. But in order for that last step to fly, we have to have a solid foundation of trust which comes from every team member's successful day-to-day interactions with their management and their personnel.
As team members of HigherRing, you all have been picked because you showed, during the recruitment process, the emotional intelligence to consistently interact with our client partners. You showed empathy, creativity, curiosity and professionalism. I have faith in your ability to reflect our core values every time you communicate with our clients and their people.
We may have clients that are a dream to work with - supportive and driven. We may have ones that are more difficult. We may have clients who are struggling to survive in competitive environments, but our partnership should always be one with which they feel comfortable. We do this by maintaining professionalism and by projecting friendliness. We help them understand, in a supportive way, the difficulties their customers are facing with their product or their systems. We take great pleasure in passing great feedback through too. That's our role -- to be their eyes and ears on the front-lines.
So, in this role, whenever you are interacting with any representative of our client partners, please ask yourself:
- Will this interaction build my relationship with this client?
- Does my interaction show the difficult situation (if there is one) but in a way that also displays support and empathy?
- Am I projecting professionalism in the way I communicate?
If those things are true, you are on the right track.
If you have just taken the brunt of a customer's anger, understand that you may be feeling the residual effects of that interaction. Take some time to recover and when you are ready, ensure that any escalation communication to our client exhibits professionalism and supportiveness. If it you have concerns about how your communication might come across, please check with your manager to get a second pair of eyes.
It's always good to remember that in our fast-paced world filled with system complexity, clients are fighting multiple fires. Problems properly explained and quantified as to frequency of occurrence are more likely to rise to the top of the development queue and be addressed as resources become available.
As someone who works closely with our client partners to create a warm working relationship where we can be effective in helping them to grow their business, your everyday actions make it possible for me to be successful.
As we enter our seventh month of being an active, thriving business, we will be rolling out a more comprehensive training, coaching and mentoring program to more robustly focus on not only our customer interactions but also our interactions with clients and as team-members. Please stay tuned!
Thank you for your hard work and partnership every day. As always, please let me know if you have any thoughts or suggestions on how we can continue to grow sustainably and successfully.