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We make websites easier to use. Through a scientific method of determining which improvements result in actual performance improvements, we replace the old way of designing sites through gut feel and management opinions with designing sites through data.
This document is about the CROmetrics internal culture, and what makes CROmetrics different from other companies. We are inspired in our culture code by Netflix, Hubspot, Atlassian and others who share similar values and cultures.
Do Right By The Customer
If we make our customers successful, we will be successful. Customers being successful will take many forms, so we always seek to add value. This is our most important value and everything else falls from it since no customers = no company.
Following in the footsteps of companies like Amazon and Zappos, who are known for fostering cultures where individuals are empowered to wow their customers, we aim to do the same. We believe that customer satisfaction goes beyond delivering to exceeding expectations on a day-to-day basis.
- We care deeply about our customers’ success. We are in the business of building long-term relationships.
- We don’t expect our customers to train our people – we are a team of A players and we do the training prior to making them responsible for the customer experience. When we see a customer getting in their own way, we’ll have the uncomfortable conversation about why that might be happening in order to get things back on track. Our best engagements are those where the client views us as an extended part of their team.
- Customer > Team > Individual The team has to come ahead of the individual since it’s the team that allows us to deliver. By putting the team first, we can jump in and help one another when we notice something amiss, help someone improve where there is an opportunity to do so, etc. By putting the individual last, we avoid the “sharp elbows” so often found inside organizations, particularly consulting firms. On the contrary, we want our team members to help one another deliver better customer experiences, and as a result we are constantly improving in how we deliver customer value.
Care personally and challenge directly in communications
Don’t assume bad intentions over neglect and misunderstanding.
a.k.a. Hanlon’s Razor.
Recently popularized by Kim Scott in her book Radical Candor, but otherwise known by other names, it’s important to us to have an open, honest ongoing conversation with one another. Radical Candor can be difficult to get used to because often you will find yourself telling someone something they may not want to hear.
- Radical Candor is about helping your teammate improve. We’ve all experienced bad bosses or people in an organization who are holding the company back and we don’t want to have those people here, as it creates a low performance work environment. We think the best way to solve these issues is to talk about them and give actionable feedback as early as possible.
- Gossip is not tolerated. The general rule of thumb is that if you find yourself “gossiping” or complaining about someone behind their back (e.g. to another coworker), that is a good sign you should be giving radical candor to the person directly. The recipient of radical candor should be glad to have the feedback and use it to course correct. Realize that feedback needs to be measured at the listener’s ear vs the speaker’s mouth.
- We reward contrarians. We honor those who speak up at tremendous risk rather than reprimanding or firing them as might be found at other companies. In fact, we require it – those who don’t speak up when they see a problem will be reprimanded. We also have a Radical Candor award that we vote on to give to the person who is best at radical candor.
- Recognize Emotions are Involved when giving and receiving. Radical candor is absolutely not easy. If done poorly, feelings can get hurt on one or both sides leading to knee jerk reactions which lead to real world consequences. When your feelings are hurt, it is all too easy to assume malice, but Radical Candor at CROmetrics means the person giving it should be caring personally.
We Bring Our Pro Gear and Pro Attitude
Derived from classified ads for band members in Seattle, we are a team of people who are serious about the work we do, and we bring our whole selves to work and do a great job for our customers, while also growing in our own careers. CROmetrics strives to be the place where its employees can do the best work of their careers.
- We are in the business of using data and science to help our customers better understand their customers. Because we are in the business of using data strategically to understand what the customer wants, it is common for us to challenge internally held assumptions as well as get to deeply understand the problems we’re solving for our customers’ customers.
- We operate well independently. Our clients hire us to get results and drive their business. Our engagements look much more like a partnership than a client/vendor relationship, and as such, we strive to give strategic leverage to the people we work with at our clients at every level. We don’t want our clients to have to spend time “managing us”, instead we want them to look forward to meeting us.
- We come prepared: We come prepared to meetings, set an agenda, stay within time allocated, articulate next steps, and are focused and decisive.
We are an Elite Team
Netflix puts this well: “We model ourselves on being a team, not a family. A family is about unconditional love, despite your siblings’ unusual behavior. An elite team is about pushing yourself to be the best teammate you can be, caring intensely about your teammates, and knowing that you may not be on the team forever.”
- We do things the right way, or not at all.
- Performance is measured first by client satisfaction and then company financial performance. We measure hours worked so we can get a sense of effort and improve our performance, but we think hours worked is generally a poor way to measure value delivered to our customers.
- We prefer guidelines over policies since policies often have the opposite of the intended effect. When our team goes outside the guidelines, it’s generally for a good reason, and we want to support their ability to do that. The cost of mistakes is far outweighed by the additional value we can deliver to our customers by trusting our people to make the right decisions.
- We expect high performance and give adequate performers a generous severance package. This can be shocking, but we copied this straight from Netflix. Hear Reed Hastings, the Netflix founder and CEO, talk about this item in the “culture shock” episode of the Masters of Scale podcast. He talks about it starting at the 19:18 mark, but the entire podcast is worth listening to. You can also look at the Netflix culture essay, it’s under the “Dream Team” section.