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Windward Core Values: Do Our Damndest to Delight the Customer

Posted on 02/25/2016

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Editor’s note: Windward’s CEO, David Thielen, is writing a series of blog posts on company core values. This is the second post in the series. Click here for the first, “Create a Team of ‘A’ Players.”

When my daughters needed help with their high school math or physics, I would discuss the problem with them, answer all their questions, then take the paper we worked on and throw it in my trash so that they had to work the problem themselves. (Needless to say, this led to them running to their mother to tell them how awful I was.)

I take this approach and work, too. And if I were in charge of support there would be:

  1. a lot more terse replies pointing customers to the appropriate page in the documentation wiki, and
  2. a lot less walking them through step by step.

Fortunately for Windward, the core values do not all come from me. One of our first employees did everything he could to help customers and was emotionally invested in their success. Since then additional employees, including the ones now handling support, are invested in making the prospect and the customer a success.

And that has become ingrained in the company as our second core value:

Delight cut

Doing our damndest to delight the customer has become a fundamental part of our culture, and not just for support. For example:

  1. Windward developers argue passionately for features based on how they make life easier for the customer.
  2. Account execs continue to help their accounts after closing the sale.
  3. The marketing team created an awesome customer rewards program.
  4. We’re rewriting the documentation wiki to make it more useful to our users.

And me? Every time I’m on the phone with a prospect or customer I imagine that our support team manager is standing over my shoulder and will tear me a new one if I don’t focus on doing my best by the customer. (Not all the core values come naturally to all of us.)

The end result is that we are all very focused on making sure that we are delighting the customer and doing so with the products we create, the support we provide, and everything we do.

In my next post, I’ll discuss our third core value: Do What’s Right.

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Author: David Thielen

Dave, Windward's founder and CEO, is passionate about building superb software teams from scratch and dramatically improving the productivity of existing software teams. He's really proud that he once created a game so compelling (Enemy Nations) that a now-professional World of Warcraft player lost his job for playing it incessantly on company time. You can read more from Dave on his personal blog, and at Huffington Post.

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