Why Communication and Results Create Trust

Ashton Chaffee

I’ve been a part of the Zylo team since it was an organization of about twenty people. Creating a culture of shared values with a smaller team is relatively easy because everyone knows everyone else pretty well.

But, this year, as we prepared to grow to become a larger business and larger team, the co-founders made it clear that it was important to re-calibrate Zylo’s values for that growth – and the future.

The values – trust, achievement, and growth – were born out of a few discussions where a group of us talked about the Zylo culture, the types of people we look to hire, and how we could capture those characteristics into something that could scale.

We came up with a ton of stuff, and leadership did a great job of boiling all of that down into three values that defined the culture we wanted to build.

I want to talk a little more about the value that resonates most with me: Trust.

Why Trust Matters

The thing that I love about trust is that it captures two of the most key things we talked about at length in those meetings: results and communication.

These two things apply at every relationship within our organization, including leadership to non-leadership, managers to team members, peer to peer, and Zylo to the customer.

When results are delivered as expected or better than expected, and that occurs within an atmosphere of open communication, that breeds trust at every relationship throughout Zylo without exception.

What Trust Looks Like

What does the value of results-driven, communication-focused trust look like in our day to day?

  • Our sales team helps customers find answers to their problems with Zylo solutions.
  • Product and Engineering build and improve features to best meet our customer needs.
  • Our Customer Success team serves customers in ways that go above and beyond and ensure the customer’s voice is always present.
  • Marketing crushes their campaigns so more new customers can be aware of the solutions we offer.

But, communication is a little harder, because it requires openness, honesty, and transparency, and it deals with the perceptions and interpretations of others.

Building Trust into Our Product

One solid example I can give of how we’re building better communication channels at Zylo every day is the work our Product and Customer Success teams have undertaken to ensure we are successfully integrating from customer feedback in our final product.

As we’ve grown in our respective teams, we’ve implemented explicit regular conversations about what’s going on in our respective worlds. These cover features in development, what challenges our customers are facing via feedback to our Customer Success teams, and how we can synthesize that information to best serve the customer and the growth of the company.

This is in addition to more a formalized digital support system so it’s clear where there are issues to be solved and how both teams are tracking towards a solution.

Through these formal channels, as well as a regular informal open dialogue, we’ve facilitated communication, delivered results and improved trust at every level.

Trust is a Choice

While trust for sure depends on both results and communication, trust is also a choice we can make as a default.

And, if we trust that everyone is doing their job to the best of their ability, that we’re all striving for more, that we all have the best intentions for the customer at the core of our decision-making, that what we say is what we mean, that we’re open and honest…then in the end, we will create an environment where people will feel secure and a business that will flourish.

About the Author

Ashton Chaffee

Ashton Chaffee, MBA, CPSO, leads product management at Zylo, where she focuses on exceeding customer’s expectations and simplifying SaaS management. She is an alumnus of Butler University, an Orr Fellow, a graduate of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, and a Certified Scrum Product Owner. In her free time, she enjoys traveling the world, staying active, and spoiling her cats.