Keeping People Promises | Steve Bederman on Reimagining The Contact Center with Marc Bernstein

Marc: One of the things you just pointed out, Steve, is looking for opportunities to make the most of your best people’s talents and abilities, in ways that challenge them and also progress their careers. So maybe I’ll just start there. How do you identify across the people in your company when you should be given someone that extra opportunity, when you think that they have more, that they can contribute and they just needed.

Steve: Well, you know, it’s an interesting industry, I’ve often called it a blue collar industry from the regard that many of us success really just started on the telephone, way, way back before they almost, when they invented telephones, I started on the telephone.

It’s a hard working industry and it’s kind of frightening, many people have a hard time picking up a phone, getting in front of people, talking to people. It really requires in my mind, people that know each other and get comfortable with the idea that communication is sort of the baseline for it, no matter what you’re building or using.

Steve Bederman on the Reimagining the Contact Center Podcast.

In this podcast episode entitled “Keeping People Promises“ the discussion between Marc and Steve revolves around the importance of defining your core values and promises, and following through with them.

So that led me into one position after the next and sort of iteratively built up my own career and generally within this industry. And I’ve always felt that I don’t want to look at a resume. When I look at somebody, I want to look at somebody and I want to say, are they gutsy? Are they passionate? Can they embrace the same values that I have? And, uh, if they’re those things, you know, we can teach them that the tactics and the strategies that, that go with it for, for management and executives. So it’s, to me, it’s really about looking around yourself first and saying, you know, who’s in that.

Let me say this culture is key. It has value, I don’t diminish that. And education certainly says a lot for somebody that they can persevere. But the truth of the matter is, is culture is the baseline. And at Balto, it’s gotta be the same way as it is at NobleBiz, we have to feel the same. So that if my customer is speaking to me, they’re not getting something different than the words speaking, from Christian or somebody else, you know, we’re all the same.

Marc: Steve, that’s so valuable. And I can tell you at Balto, we have this document that everyone who’s new gets, it doesn’t matter what department you’re in, if you’re customer facing or if you’re code facing and you never talk to another person outside your team, uh, you get this document and it’s called ‘How we communicate at Balto: 10 principles for communication, authentic, justified.’

Steve: Well, we keep our promises, but it’s really our core value and we don’t have a long mission. Uh, we don’t have a long mission statement. I always think of going into car dealerships and, uh, you know, sitting in a waiting, waiting to get attended to and seeing on their wall, the 18 different points of their mission, but ours is simple and it’s at a client, gives us a gift when they choose us.

And it’s a gift of trust. And you can, I can’t think of anything more valuable in my world than being trusted. And so what are we doing with that gift as we return it with. With the things we can control, passion, relentless effort, sound, process, consistency, dependability, and, just being, intense about what we do for the customer and not for us or not in a negotiation about what’s good for the customer.

The customer is, is the whole point. And so that is our whole core value here. And it’s always been that way within my life. And I, I look at it this way is that when I myself expect something in service from somebody else, that’s all I expect. I mean, people can fail all the time. I can accept that.

I was talking with one of our customers about something very similar today, and I was talking about how, when you’re on the vendor side, it’s so easy to underappreciate all the work the customer is doing to make the relationships. You’re looking from your own perspective or your biases to look at it from your own perspective where you say, you know, I’m setting all the meetings with this customer and I’m reaching out to that person and trying to integrate this thing and that thing and holding their QBR or quarterly business reviews and their exec meetings and trying to build consensus, I’m doing all this, but if you take a step back, you’ll realize, wow.

If a client chooses us, their entire ecosystem changes their training, their approach, the approach they use with their customers. Uh, everything is built around mission, a critical piece that we’re offering to them. And when you look at it like that, you don’t, you shouldn’t stop and say, well, what, what is really the customer’s responsibility?

Yes, they have responsibilities. But what you should say is we’d sure love you to do this piece of it, to make this successful. But even if you don’t, don’t worry, I got you. We got up because we know how important this is to you. We will never abandon. Things will go wrong because life happens, but we’ll always be there for you.

If you look at everything we do, as we grow our companies and listen, we’re both growing now in our businesses and successful, and you have to remind our people. Just like we are reminded ourselves that everything is that first name on the whiteboard that you’re going to do something with and, and protect and take care.

When somebody in full circle comes in to interview for a job, you know, can they fit that culture or could they not, regardless of what their background and experiences that’s one of the reasons.

Marc: Steve, that I think that culture is actually in many ways, self reinforcing and self nourishing, because imagine that you’re on a team of 10 people and the 10 people are all totally customer focused and willing to go above and beyond to make that customer successful. And then you’re the new, new, new guy. And you’re not that way. And you know, you’re thinking how do I rack up the, uh, you know, biggest, uh, bookings I can this, how can I sell them and get out?

Those 10 people, we’re going to look at you like blood, blood, blood, blood. You’ll, you’ll be out of there so fast. So there’s almost this, when you put the culture into your organization in the first place, um, it brings in, it draws in people. That are like that it teaches people who are not like that, you know,

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