One of my favorite books is speed of trust, one of my top takeaways was this…
Trust is the grease in your gears
Think of gears in a bike…trust is grease in those gears (greased gears just run smooth with low friction), lack of trust is sand in those gears, and sand in those gears means every part of your body has to work harder to move the bike. Lack of trust in your people, your customers, etc is friction.
Friction slows down every relationship you have.
I’ve worked with a few people in my career that are naturally low trust people and there is nothing you can do to convince them, their world view is one of skepticism and low trust.
I’ve used those experiences to help me, I say man imagine the mental tax of going through life assuming everyone you meet can’t be taken at face value, what a mental tax. And I’ve chosen since being exposed to a few people like that, that I never want to be like that.
The price of that freedom is occasionally being taken advantage of. Price is well worth it.
I’ve always tried to run Seer based on a simple belief, you can trust your people to do the right thing. If you can’t do that then don’t work together. Cause the friction just isn’t worth it. Ask yourself, do your policies tell employees they are trusted?
If not, then you are saying “we need to protect ourselves from you abusing XYZ” and that leads your team to building policies that treat your customers like how you treat them…
How good customers get treated like bad ones…
CEOs hearing from your customer is how you find problems that they can’t solve, and that others have tried and failed. As our Innovation VP, talking to clients regularly is something I love. I get to find out what unlocking their big problems would do, but I also find out where we’ve lost trust because someone is “following the process” that we built at one time, but had no idea of the outcomes of following the process on clients.
After the experience I outline below, I’m going to start asking clients on calls, where do our policies make it hard for our team to work on a trusting relationship?
I don’t think Seer truly looked at client by client profitability until we were well over 15 million and 100 people. In the early days I watched CEO after CEO spend 15 hours on profitability and 15 minutes talking to customers. I did the opposite. It could have crushed us, but for us it worked.
The pros of putting more time into managing customers than calculations were several, clients didn’t have team members talking about hours, team members didn’t have to worry about “am I out of hours” and that helped us to build a more “we’re in this with you” relationship, which is how I love to treat my clients. The big cons is real too: people don’t know when to stop working, and that can lead to burnout, confusion, etc.
Turning a rip off into making myself a better client advocate
This is 100% on me, I didn’t dig into the fine print, but I wanted to write this up so others know too.
As a “data guy” I love getting my hands on new data sets, regularly.
So when I saw statista having data like this available I was stoked to get my hands on it!
But as you can see I needed the excel file, which triggers the pop up.
OK no problem, 59 bux, but then I had to sign up for 12 months I hesitated, but I wanted to get the data so I checked the money back guarantee policy and signed up, but I missed the “unused” part.
The thing I didn’t read is “unused” as I had to “use” the account to see the depth of the excel data, which was not available.
What I found out. The charts in the doc are the same in the excel sheet, I was hoping / assuming the “raw data” was what I was going to get and when I decided to cancel after downloading 2 reports, I was told I used the account and that people sometimes get 1 report and cancel and get their money back.
I couldn’t help but think this is an extremely low trust organization. I can’t imagine anyone there would look at what I did and think “he’s trying to pull one over”, but the policy inhibits a legit conversation.
I sent tweets and emails trying to get help, never got a response.
I refuse to let statista (the company I feel wronged me) take the $795 annual fee from me without a return on that massive waste of money.
As a result I will turn this “locked in / low trust” contract into something that makes me better as a CEO and I’ll always remember this incident as how it feels to be on the receiving end of a low trust relationship.
I hope statista changes to find some way to do the hard work of figuring out a way to both protect the business and trust customers.