CARING – being empathetic, respectful and non-judgmental - is a core value here at Nagarro. At the same time, it’s an acronym for six other core values - Client-centric, Agile, Responsible, Intelligent, Non-hierarchical, and Global - that are part of our org DNA and reflect our unique culture. I had the pleasure of interviewing some of my colleagues from all over the world to understand their perspectives about these values and thought of creating a series of blog posts around that. Here’s the first one from the CARING series: Client-centric.
“You know you are client-centric when you always do the right thing for the customer; the rest will fall into place”, our CEO Manas Fuloria once said during a townhall. Briggs Patterson, a US-based business development and client engagement manager, can't get this sentence out of his head.
Many of you will probably think that this value plays or should play an important role for any company, but Briggs – whom I recently talked to - associates much more with it. This is perhaps why he gets so passionate when asked about his favorite Nagarro value: Being client-centric.
[Sabrina Floh] Briggs, first of all, why did you join Nagarro?
[Briggs Patterson] That's an interesting story! I came over from another leading technology company where I was managing client relationships. We had an account where over 500 consultants were working on various projects such as application development, maintenance support, third-party systems integration and so on.
Needless to say, managing such a client was no easy task. There was trouble because the customer was somewhat demanding, given that it was so big; and the company I was working for, was also pretty demanding because we were a publicly traded company. I felt we were losing our focus. It was more about how strong our profit margin was, as opposed to what value we were providing to the customer. That was a sign to me, where it was clear they've lost customer-centricity and they were more focused on the revenue impact.
I still remember my last question to Cindy Wolf, Vice President of Nagarro, when she interviewed me: “How would you react if a customer asked us to help them out by subcontracting key resources during a vendor consolidation?” She said, “We would do anything that´s in the best interest of the customer.” After this talk, it was clear to me why I needed to be in Nagarro.
And what exactly makes the value 'Client-centric' special to you?
Well, I guess you could always say the old adage ‘the customer is always right’ stands true. But customers know what they need and I think it's important to always focus on putting the customer at the center of your universe and living up to what we promise.
The growth of the account, the revenue and all of that will automatically fall in place when we have the right customers and we are fully client-centric. I think that is absolutely true.
Customers love us because we put their needs first before project margins. Also, if we make a mistake, we take responsibility and do whatever it takes to make it right again. Customers see that, and it pays us back!
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when hearing the term ‘Client-centric’?
If you think back, when or how did you first come across customer centricity?
So, I would say it's from my parents; they were entrepreneurs and have owned several businesses. One of them was actually a family entertainment center. They had a laser tag, arcade and several other things. I still remember difficult situations at birthday parties with demanding parents, but I also remember my parents would bend over backwards and rise to the occasion, because they wanted to meet customers’ expectations. Even when they were demanding and tough to deal with, because they knew that they had to.
When people have a good experience, a customer-focused reputation can spread like wildfire. You know they're going to tell their friends, colleagues and other people and that's really cool! But to answer the question, I think (it was) my parents when I was very young. Just seeing them in there, the businesses that they ran, and how they always put their customers first - yeah, it all goes back to observing how my parents were.
In which areas is this value reflected within Nagarro?
I don't know if I could necessarily point to a specific area, but I do know that this value is definitely reflected in the teams that I work with. We are all very client-centric. For example, right now, we have a customer who's asking for a proposal within a very short period of time. I have a team that is working diligently over the next few days to get this proposal out. This is a Fortune 100 or Fortune 115 company, and you can see we're making every effort to get this done. I would say this is where I see our client-centricity - it is in the entrepreneurial kind of mentality that Nagarro has.
Is there a situation that you remember at Nagarro that makes the value more tangible to others?
Yes, of course. We have a customer, a leader in their industry, and we used to work closely with someone from their team. This person left that company several years ago, but last year he brought us into his new company. He's seen exactly what Nagarro is like when he had worked with us. That’s customer-centricity and several other values, but I think we've been so client-centric with him that he always recommends us. He had such a great experience that he helps us find other opportunities.
I actually had a call yesterday where they were asking us to save a project that's due in April because their current partner can't figure it out. They've brought us onto a call and it's just opportunity after opportunity. My team and I are tirelessly fighting to exceed expectations. This is the core tenet of being obsessively customer-focused.
So, would you say that our customers appreciate the efforts?
Yes! Let me go back to the last example, where this customer moved on from his organization and brought us into his new one. Last week, we gave a demo of the product we created. Trust me, this guy is tough, and he expects a lot out of us, but he was very nervous about the demo. But the smile on his face after the demo said it all! He was giving the entire team pats on the back and couldn't thank us enough. For me, that really describes the value and highlights the value for our efforts.
It's a great feeling whenever the team does such a fantastic job and customers show their appreciation when we exceed expectations. As of last week, we've already bagged two to three new opportunities from that account.
In comparison to Nagarro, what relevance do other companies assign to this value?
I'm struggling to think of companies out there that are as client-centric as we are. I mean, the first thing that comes to my mind is that social media giant. They sold all their data to a certain company in the UK. That's not client-centric; they're not protecting their users this way.
The same goes for insurance companies. Think about when you deal with an insurance company—how tough it is when you have to file a claim and they make you jump through hoops as opposed to what their commercial says: “Oh, we're focused on our customers!” I think it is only a small chunk of companies that are still focused on client-centricity.
Your concluding thoughts before we sign-off?
I just hope that being client-centric remains a driving value for our company because you do see a lot of times that companies go through changes and you know, their directions change. I hope we never lose that characteristic about our company.
Well, this wraps up an interesting conversation with a fellow Nagarrian on just how much we value being client-centric. Our next blog in this CARING series will talk about why (and how) we breathe and live A for Agile. Stay tuned!