Customer Happiness

Customer Happiness

Here at Certify, we have two words that define our company culture – Customer Happiness.

Since 2008, our goal has been to end the pain of corporate expense reporting. It's not much of an exaggeration to say that for decades now the entire corporate world has been groaning in pain when it comes to expense reports. But we wanted to go beyond just "ending the pain." We wanted to use all technologies available to actually make the dreaded responsibility of expense reports become... fun!

At first glance, creating a system that transforms expense reports from pain to fun seems to be a technical exercise. By listening to our customers, it quickly becomes evident that a system is not worth much if the end users of the system are not happy with it. Whether we have spent time philosophizing about happiness or not, when we deliver a system and then enhance it based on user feedback, we start to make people happy.

In the fall of 2010, a friend gave me a copy of Tony Hsieh's book Delivering Happiness. This book and the Zappos story made a deep and lasting impression on me, and so many others. As soon as I finished the book, I bought 7 hardcover copies for Certify's senior leadership team. The book had the same effect on each of us, and we soon found time to break away as a team on a corporate retreat, to dream together and focus our collective passion.

One of the central points in Delivering Happiness is that we all have to be ourselves. We cannot just imitate Zappos and magically become successful. During an annual corporate retreat back in 2011, we realized something special, even astounding to us. Since the first production release of Certify, we used to take time each month to focus on end user feature requests, questions, and complaints. Each month we would pore over lots of feedback we had received from all communication channels. These sessions were painful because it was like looking in the mirror the first thing in the morning and seeing all our faults at once! But we simply could not allow ourselves to focus on building nifty new features while we knew there were some end users grumbling as they used Certify. We felt the need to "clear the decks" by resolving every known bug and valid complaint possible. This was the only way that we could move forward and build new things with a clear conscience. We gave this monthly routine a name – we called it making a "Customer Happiness Build."

As the months went by, we found ourselves actually starting to look forward to these Customer Happiness Builds. Our Support team would circle back with specific end users and inform them that their wish had been granted, or that their gripe had been heard and that the problem has been solved. Those users would be thrilled and express their feelings with exuberance. We found that our own satisfaction from delivering a Customer Happiness Build was just as deep, maybe even deeper, than delivering some cool new feature. We all came to the simultaneous and collective realization that our company culture has always been and should always be, "Customer Happiness!"

Since 2011 we have continually been asking ourselves how we are going to actually deliver Customer Happiness. How much do we really believe in this vision? What specific things are we going to do in order to pursue it further? During 2013, we were releasing a huge new industry changing whiz-bang feature called Certify ReportExecutive(TM). ReportExecutive delivers complete automation of expense reports, based on a company's preferred schedule. This was a serious push in terms of new feature advancement in the expense reporting space, but we also wanted to focus on the human element. So along with our shiny new robot that builds your report, we also hired Kenny Eon as our Vice President of Customer Happiness. It was amazing how this came together because this was no ordinary new hire – this was Kenny, who worked with us in our first startup Recruiternet, starting back in 1999. Since the Recruiternet days, Kenny had grown from a leading enterprise sales representative into an inspiring and nurturing customer service executive. His heart was already tuned to Customer Happiness, and we all agreed he was a natural fit. As Vice President of Customer Happiness, Kenny is now fully devoted to leading our Support Experts, Implementation Coaches and Client Champions in delivering real, tangible customer happiness on a daily basis.

Here at Certify, we strive to be truthful, transparent, and approachable. If we can do a better job in any way, please tell us. You won't need to shout, or kick and scream, either, because we are not like the others. Feel free to call our Support Experts, or send us an e-mail. Connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. Take just nine seconds to fill out our quarterly user satisfaction survey. We have teams of people here at Certify dedicated to listening to all those communication channels. We have a VP of Customer Happiness who really cares. Our entire company is thrilled to have found our purpose and passion – Customer Happiness. We are looking forward to walking this path with you!
Alan Neveu

Certify, CTO