Be The Presence

By: Lisa Marie

Pulse Group recently wrangled up the deployment of a rather large project that involved a lot of late nights and a ton of manpower. This blog isn’t about the job itself, but rather a comment that came out of a conversation between Chad and me. It reminded me of the power of teamwork and the power of pursuing what matters with no restraint. The job required a lot of programming and after 10-12 hour days, even the best programmers need a break. Chad would stay on the job site until as late as he had to make sure the code was running properly and if something happened he could intervene. One night I asked if you can’t fix the problem directly, why are you staying so late?

He answered I am here to be a presence. If something hits the fan, I can call in the right person and be legs on the ground. This is ONLY possible with the immense work, dedication, and follow-through that the rest of the team contributed to the job itself.

I knew the answer, but it was powerful to hear again. When you’re working on a job (big or small) and there is the potential for something to go wrong or the situation is not as stable as you want - that is the time to SHOW UP. When you put in the extra effort to be available, visible, and responsible - the client feels:

  • Confident they made the right decision (even if it isn’t a perfect path)
  • Comfortable that someone is available who knows what they are doing, and
  • Taken care of
  • Predictability + Persistence/Time = Trust

How can be sure your team is equipped and able to make these types of decisions? You can’t. But you can create a culture where the team has the same level of passion for delivering excellence as you do. We have written a lot of on company culture which you can read here.

As the owner, the buck stops with you - but if you’re as fortunate as we are, you have built a team that backs you up and gets jobs done right. No one person can take credit for any success or any failure. It takes a group of like-minded people to be successful. Making sure your team is properly trained in dealing with problem situations is a start- but it can only go so far.

After all the hard work is done, sometimes it requires the people at the top to show up and be a fresh face. If you’re an owner, it’s your word on the line. Your product, Your service. Ultimately, your reputation. Even if you have the best team on the planet (like we do), don’t underestimate the value of your presence and providing your excellent team some downtime.

You can know when to show up by:

1. Training your team on how to identify possible frustrated clients or problem situations that require backup. Emotional intelligence is not the usual trait that is prioritized when working in a remote or individual environment, but when you are onsight, dealing with people in person, it is a necessity. Understanding not only what a client is feeling, but being able to truly emphasize and act accordingly is one of the greatest strengths any owner, or employee, can have. This environment will also draw in more future clients because they will know they will be taken care of, no matter the situation.

2. Check-in with client satisfaction yourself to make sure what you’re hearing internally is accurate. Observing client frustration is important, but it is also important to check-in on your client’s feelings directly. Sometimes our intuition fails and the feelings circulating are much different than what it may seem. Checking in makes sure that your actions are in direct response to client needs. Opening up this pathway of communication will also ensure less frustration for the future and will result in greater efficiency.

3. Get regular status updates on active problems. Communication with employees on what they are observing is also essential. They will most likely know what’s going on and where possible setbacks are so you can begin to solve and prepare for what to do (or who to call) next. From there, you should know all the updates on these problems so if the client asks, you are able to tell them. This will also give you peace of mind about what is happening, instead of wondering how the problems are going to get a fix.

It’s when you don’t take proactive approaches that problems arise, you deal with angry or frustrated clients, and ultimately the job may not go as smoothly as you’d like. Mitigating and communicating will open doors to greater efficiency and therefore allowing for better client and employee experience.