Thursday, August 28, 2014

Why Does Our Competitor Hate Hawaii??

One of Nobscot's competitors has a photo of a Hawaii guy in an aloha shirt and slippers (flip-flops) leaning back in his office chair throwing paper airplanes unprofessionally at his suit-and-tie clad co-worker. The article is about the types of exit interview consultants you should avoid, with the implication that the Hawaii guy is one to stay away from.

The not-so-subtle dig on Nobscot got me thinking about vendor corporate culture. Working in HR we are all well attuned to the importance of internal corporate culture on employees, particularly on employee retention.  But what about the corporate culture of the vendors with whom we choose to work? Does the internal culture of a vendor impact the customer experience? 

If, for example, a company's internal culture is overly formal, bureaucratic with aggressive sales goals does that translate into a vendor who is difficult to work with, not flexible to attend to a client's unique needs, insincere with nickel-and-dime pricing, and dishonest about capabilities in sales presentations?

When I think about Nobscot's culture, it's clear that so much of our internal culture informs our performance with our clients. Our competitor may have gotten it all wrong about what it means to be a Hawaii company but they were right about Hawaii setting the tone for our culture and what it is like to work with us.  Not in a paper-plane throwing (?) unprofessional (??) way but in our unique aloha spirit.

Noscot's Hawaii-style is what drives us to work hard and smart while still having fun, to be passionate about what we do, to care about each other, to minimize red tape, to be upfront and honest and to go the extra mile. This translates into a unique experience for our customers.  We (genuinely) care about their success. We surprise them with more service than they expect.  We laugh (a lot) with them. We go to extreme lengths to provide fair pricing with our "pricing fairness policy" and all inclusive pricing. We take away stress rather than produce it. In a nutshell, we like to spread a little aloha with each customer interaction.

The only real sad part about the photo is the stereotypical vision of Hawaii being a place where people slack off or are incompetent. In reality, Hawaii is a place of great diversity, remarkable work ethic and very smart people. Hawaii has been my home for more than 20 years and although my former Boston accent may rear its head from time to time, I'm glad to have added a little bit of Aloha into my work style and how my team treats each other and our clients. Aloha!

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