“Cash-ay” or “cash” (cache)? “Day-tuh or “dah-tuh”? (data). It doesn’t matter how you say it. After all, actions speak louder than words. So, where’s the action in data? Ah yes, it’s in the follow through. And at Unacast, that's what we're all about. It sounds pretty straight forward, right? But when I made the move from a large corporation to a 40-person startup, I discovered the following through, especially in terms of client success, could be re-defined.
Follow Up and Follow Through
Once upon a time (and that time is still now at many large organizations), a role in client success meant doing your best to manage relationships while battling through levels of approval and weeks upon weeks of turnaround time. The result? De-personalized service and an inability, in spite of best efforts, to meet client needs quickly and pivot to help them hit their goals. Success was defined as maintaining clients, but shouldn’t we strive to do more than just maintain? There was follow up and follow through, but only in the barest sense of the words.
When I came to Unacast, I was invited for the first time to really stretch my creative muscles. Being part of a lean team with a “Be Your Own CEO” value meant that suddenly I had the ability to make decisions swiftly, take action myself and be flexible in implementing approaches that worked best to help each individual client meet their goals. Being able to customize service and accommodate requests when they’re actually made - not three weeks later - has led to an entirely different partnership dynamic between our team and our clients. It’s given a different meaning to “follow up and follow through”.
Three Keys to Success: Trust. Humility. Humanity.
The type of approach I embrace and encourage at Unacast is about three things.
1. Trust. When I came to Unacast, I was fully entrusted with my role and responsibilities from the start. The company’s trust in me meant that I was also able to grow a stronger trust with my clients, because they knew that when I make a promise to them, I actually had the power and agency within my organization to bring it to fruition. There are no levels of middle-management or months-long approval processes. Instead, there is mutual trust between Unacast, myself and our clients that allows us to act quickly and flexibly.
2. Humility. One of the first things I learned about Unacast is that there is no room for an ego. Nor should there be! When it comes to client success, everyone involved is best served when we put the needs of the client first. The truth is that at larger organizations, or even smaller ones with an unhealthily competitive culture, employees become more focused on advancing themselves than on advancing client goals. In a situation like that, no one comes out a winner.
3. Humanity. This one seems like a no-brainer, right? We’re all human. But honestly, we don’t always treat each other that way in business. Unacast is a people-first company, which comes through both in my internal dealings with coworkers and how I work with clients day in and day out. In my experience, when you put people first, the business success tends to follow.
... So, while following up and following through once was code for “do the bare minimum to get by and keep the client from churning”, it has taken on a new, genuine meaning at Unacast. Regardless of the size of your company, implementing an approach based on trust, humility and humanity can still be done - even on an individual level. And if it is done, I promise you’ll see a difference.