Each quarter, Aptify has a theme that we all rally around and use to help focus our team in the same direction. The purpose may be to educate, create a new habit, or embed a concept into our culture.
Recently, I led a theme called #MTM Moving the Mountain of Quality and Customer Satisfaction. The goal was to have every individual set a goal (we call them rocks) to do something new or change something existing that would positively affect quality or customer satisfaction. The team took the challenge to heart and used #MTM to really think about how they can positively impact people and processes.
We then asked all 250 Aptify team members to share a lesson learned on our internal staff website. Aggregating just a few of those 250 posts, here are 16 important lessons learned that can serve as reminders to serving customers in the best possible ways:
- Pick up the phone: In the digital world, a 5 minute conversation can solve issues quickly, minimize misunderstandings, and increase personal connection between you and your customers.
- Align on expectations: What are we agreeing to? When do we agree to deliver it? Who is accountable to get it done?
- Let someone know if you won’t meet expectations: No one likes being told minutes before a meeting or after something is due that it’s not ready. Give your team members a heads up as soon as possible and renegotiate deadlines.
- Say “No”: There are times when we need to say “no” because we can’t meet a deliverable or because what is being asked is not in the long-term interest of a project. Saying “no” may be hard to hear, but sometimes it’s truly the best option in the long run.
- Test your code (or walk the plank) before sending to anyone else: Own your work quality before passing to anyone else. Whether that’s developing code or proof-reading your own documents.
- Think like an owner: Ask questions like: is there a better way? Would I spend my own money this way? What can I do to make a real impact on our business?
- Share mistakes: They say confession is good for the soul and it builds accountability. It’s also good for ‘lessons learned’ and preventing others from repeating what you did.
- Too complex? Break it down: Many times challenges may seem overwhelming. Break it down into workable chunks. This will help you focus on what you CAN do vs. what you CAN’T do.
- FOCUS your time: Block your calendar. Turn off email and other distractions to take control of your time and focus on priorities that have the highest impact.
- Keep it simple: Sometimes the simplest way really is the best way. Don’t over complicate things.
- Build great stuff: Building great stuff is fun, rewarding, and useful!
- Measure 3x, cut once: I’ve heard this said in construction and quilting. Take the time upfront to plan, strategize, prioritize, and nail down expectations so that you don’t need to backtrack and waste time or effort.
- Listen: two ears, one mouth. You need to spend double the time listening to really ‘send and receive’ communication.
- Be persistent: Whether it’s connecting with someone or solving problems, persistence is key to long term success.
- Address problems quickly: Don’t let the hard stuff fester. Figuratively rip the Band-aid off so healing can start more quickly and leave a smaller scar.
- Be F.A.I.R.: When in doubt or trying to figure something out, always rely on your company’s core values to guide your way. At Aptify, our core values serve as guideposts on how we operate and are represented in the acronym F.A.I.R.: Flexibility, Accountability, Innovation, and Responsiveness.
Focusing 250 people on the same goal doesn’t just move a mountain, it can blow it off its foundation!