Article

What does it mean to truly care for your clients?

Shelly Brill and Adam Powell

What does it mean to truly care for your clients? In our humble opinion, it means to first care for them as people. We start by practicing this within our own company and caring for our team. This empowers us to carry that same care to our clients. It’s more than a trickle down effect, and it’s more than saying we care. Caring for people is built into the actions, ideas, and thinking of a company. It’s the very foundation the business is built upon.

The Principle standard of caring is pillared with kindness, grace, humility, and humanity. You know- the things we all want to see more of in the world.

We see the eyeroll, and we can already guess your next question. How does this idea of peace and love really translate to the company environment and client work?

We have the concrete answers to back up the abstract emotions!

First and foremost, we are forthright that we know what we know and we don’t know what we don’t know. AKA, we don’t pretend to be experts in everything.

It’s important that we do good work, but we also acknowledge there are always opportunities to learn, improve, and up our game. We don’t hide this from clients, and we don’t encourage a culture of ‘fake it til you make it’ on the team. We challenge the unfortunate workplace norm that it’s not OK to say you don’t know how to do something.

The same rings true for owning mistakes. We’re not on a manhunt to suss out who didn’t code something correctly. The opposite of a caring culture is one based on fear. We’re human. We make mistakes. We’ll own up to that internally and to our clients. We won’t pretend to be perfect machines. Rather we’ll acknowledge our humanness in all its glory. After all, it’s our human side that allows us to care.

We let everyone have a seat at the table. In the internal workings of Principle, this translates to a collaborative effort on all touchpoints of our brand. You bet there are 10 people in Google Docs giving edits and ideas for our client-facing newsletter. We believe that everyone can and should have skin in the game.

And with our clients, this means working towards more than an end product. We want to partner with clients in a way that moves them towards their goals, and in order to do that, we have to understand the in’s and out’s of their organization. In the early phases of most projects, we have an exploratory period. It’s a lot of talking, brainstorming, asking questions, and deep listening. The ultimate goal of this is to truly understand who the stakeholders are and what’s important to them. Some may see this as a waste of time. We see it as the beginning of a truly collaborative relationship.

This isn’t a humble brag of the culture of Principle Studios. (OK, maybe it is a little bit...but isn’t that the point of LinkedIn?!) We’re putting these ideas out here and giving you a peek behind the curtain because we don’t think these are radical ideas. Rather, we think this is how business as usual should look. We are a company of humans that works for other humans. And we truly care about the human side of everyone involved. The line of personal and professional will forever be blurred, and we are OK with that, because from transformational relationships comes transformational products. So we will continue to advocate for our norm of caring for clients, and bringing kindness, grace, humility, and humanity to every project we work on.