One of our clients flew into Tulsa this week on a glorious and classically beautiful autumn day. Debbie Greene, our Managing Director of Operations took the airline executive for a stroll outside our operations center and in between business talk both Debbie and our client swapped a few personal stories. Debbie later shared highlights of their discussion with our leadership team but the thing worth mentioning that they simultaneously wished was that it was the type of day perhaps better spent at a tailgate party.
Some weeks ago, Trase Miller executives did engage in a little tailgating with clients. It was a memorable night, to be sure with not all parties wanting the same outcome in the competition. Fall and football just seem to go together and the ironic thing is going to ball games with clients might be the only time that we don't want the same outcome. We work very hard at keeping our interests always in alignment. At the game, we cheered and groaned and applauded good blocking and tackling. In between all that we shared personal stuff and had a great night altogether.
We go to great lengths to ensure that every single person that works here as part of our work family understands what an "alignment of interests" means. It begins with Trase Miller L and D explaining and new team members subscribing to the reason people/customers call us:
Customers call US to feel good about their travel purchases and about themselves for their purchase decisions.
Our agents align their interests with callers by providing expertise, efficiency and empathy on every single call. And our company aligns our interests with our clients interests by getting all this right within agreed upon service standards. It's simple but it's not always easy.
This week our Tulsa operations center exhibited the distinct hum of an enterprise on double overtime. Our L and D group was busy with three simultaneous training classes. Everybody around here is working fiercely hard at getting it right. We know that blocking and tackling matters and our clients know that we do it exceedingly well.
This past week we packed about ten days worth of work into five. It’s gratifying to reflect on some really productive meetings that several of us participated in while flying around the country together. The first half of the week we spent time with our founder and shareholder, Jim Miller who caught up with our Leadership Team and a few long-time employees. We covered a bunch of topics with Jim including a few stories about his passion for racing cars and the adrenaline rush that comes from speed and competing*. On the business front, Jim provided equal amounts of retrospective and pragmatic optimism about the future. Jim reminded us that Trase Miller is a special place much attributed to what he calls his (our) abiding tenets. We treat our customers well and our employees well and profits come as a result. Straightforward and without pretence – Just like Jim.
The second half of the week we were fortunate to spend time with some of our clients at the travel industry’s best conference PhoCusWright. The amazing thing about our conference meetings was the affirmation that our partnerships truly occupy a big part of the leisure travel footprint. We talk to our clients all the time but there is nothing better than being face to face, sharing a meal and solving the world’s problems together. Straightforward and without pretense.
At the conference we also ran into competitors and it’s always fun to give them a jib or a jab to keep them on their toes. External competition is healthy because simply put in the end it affords the opportunity for consumers to have choices. And as we so often advocate in this blog – The American consumer wants to talk to Americans contact centers like Trase Miller’s that are onshore USA.
On our way home we thought about and talked about external AND internal competition. It got us thinking about the meaning of the word itself – COMPETE. To compete is Latin for “strive in common" or "to come together, agree, to be qualified".
Internal competition can be healthy too. Though we are living in tough times, Trase Miller is a rapidly growing contact center business. Occasionally we have to compete with each other. For example, sometimes we have to compete for resources. But we compete well-knowing that the spirit of striving together is alive and well and that we will continue to be successful by operating true to our abiding tenets. Straightforward and without pretense.
* Jim doesn’t race cars these days but is involved in engineering/fabricating world class winning race cars. Click on to Pratt and Miller for more details.