January 28, 2013 in Company Culture
To start off our series of blog posts about our values, I’m going to begin with the one that assured me that UserVoice was the right place for me to work. It’s also the one people seem to have the most questions about. “I get the first part, but why do you need the second part!?” Trust me. My parents almost spat out their coffee when I told them about our “Have empathy and don’t be a dick” value. While some people don’t immediately get it, I did and here’s why:
Sometimes the best way to say something is the best way to say something. In an industry saturated with “We care” promises (that aren’t always kept), we needed language to represent our genuine commitment to understanding our customers. When a customer has a frustration, you can’t understand their pain unless you respect them first. You can’t solve their problem if you’re not dedicated to working with them. It wasn’t enough to just have empathy – we believed you couldn’t be a dick either.
So that’s what we say. “Have empathy and don’t be a dick.”
We commit to people that no matter their complaint or type of help they need. We want people to be comfortable contacting us and trust that we’re here to assist, not chastise. But it’s about more than just our customers. We’re not going to be a dick to our competitors or team members either. Suddenly, by adding that second part to our value, we not only reassured people we could be trusted to empathize with them, but also made a statement about our culture and became a more attractive place to work. Our copywriter Andy agrees:
Maybe “have empathy and don’t be a dick” is a little cheeky, but it’s also unflinching about the kind of behavior we expect from each other. And working with people who are compassionate is its own sweet reward.
It’s not an empty promise. We wanted to make that as clear as possible. Empathizing is what we do. We’re not the company that’s going to say “We care about your issues but can’t help.” If you ask me, that’s a pretty dick move – and we’re not dicks at UserVoice.