Friday, May 9, 2014
Defining Costumer Happiness at Certify
Managing a certain business takes a lot of effort to make it successful especially in the world that is full of competition. Most of the business people in the market are using the technology as an aid every businesses that they have especially for those having the hard time in managing the expense reports that you have in the company.
Here at Certify, we have two words that define our company culture – Customer Happiness. Since 2008, our goal has been to end the pain of corporate expense reporting. It's not much of an exaggeration to say that for decades now the entire corporate world has been groaning in pain when it comes to expense reports. But we wanted to go beyond just "ending the pain." We wanted to use all technologies available to actually make the dreaded responsibility of expense reports become... fun!
At first glance, creating a system that transforms expense reports from pain to fun seems to be a technical exercise. By listening to our customers, it quickly becomes evident that a system is not worth much if the end users of the system are not happy with it. Whether we have spent time philosophizing about happiness or not, when we deliver a system and then enhance it based on user feedback, we start to make people happy.
In the fall of 2010, a friend gave me a copy of Tony Hsieh's book Delivering Happiness. This book and the Zappos story made a deep and lasting impression on me, and so many others. As soon as I finished the book, I bought 7 hardcover copies for Certify's senior leadership team. The book had the same effect on each of us, and we soon found time to break away as a team on a corporate retreat, to dream together and focus our collective passion.
One of the central points in Delivering Happiness is that we all have to be ourselves. We cannot just imitate Zappos and magically become successful. During an annual corporate retreat back in 2011, we realized something special, even astounding to us. Since the first production release of Certify, we used to take time each month to focus on end user feature requests, questions, and complaints. Each month we would pore over lots of feedback we had received from all communication channels. These sessions were painful because it was like looking in the mirror the first thing in the morning and seeing all our faults at once! But we simply could not allow ourselves to focus on building nifty new features while we knew there were some end users grumbling as they used Certify. We felt the need to "clear the decks" by resolving every known bug and valid complaint possible. This was the only way that we could move forward and build new things with a clear conscience. We gave this monthly routine a name – we called it making a "Customer Happiness Build."
As the months went by, we found ourselves actually starting to look forward to these Customer Happiness Builds. Our Support team would circle back with specific end users and inform them that their wish had been granted, or that their gripe had been heard and that the problem has been solved. Those users would be thrilled and express their feelings with exuberance. We found that our own satisfaction from delivering a Customer Happiness Build was just as deep, maybe even deeper, than delivering some cool new feature. We all came to the simultaneous and collective realization that our company culture has always been and should always be, "Customer Happiness!"