It Takes a Village

It Takes a Village

As one of the original pioneers here on the Articulate Success Team, I can tell you that, without exceptional teamwork, we never would have quadrupled in size and become the customer-pleasing powerhouse we are today.

We help with basic and complex pricing scenarios, offer product demos, work with IT and purchasing staffs, and generally make sure that future Articulate customers get the most out of their free trials—and we do it with an all-hands-on-deck approach.

We do whatever it takes to make our customers smile, whether that’s guiding them toward the tool that’s right for them, pointing them to the asset they need to make their project shine, or jumping on a surprise conference call to convince their executive team why Articulate software is the best in the biz (knowing full well we won’t get to enjoy the doughnuts on the conference table).

For a small group of success coaches like us, it takes precise teamwork and flexibility to manage the many ever-changing needs of our leads and customers. That’s why I knew I could count on my teammates to pick up the slack after my wife gave birth to our first child about three weeks ago; Talk about a small team needing to be flexible and work together! Babies are tough customers.

It all started at about one o’clock in the morning on a Monday—that’s when my wife woke me from sweet e-learning slumber (I really was dreaming about work) and told me she was in labor.

Being the customer-focused guy I am, I immediately set my out of office email message (hey, priorities!) alerting my leads and contacts that we have some self-service tools in place for them, and I offered some instructions on how to reach out to my awesome teammates for anything specific they might need during my absence. At most companies, that would be the end of it: I would go off and be a scared, clueless, first-time dad for a couple weeks and come back to an overflowing inbox of impatient customers.

But not at Articulate.

Before my wife and I had even moved to the delivery room at the hospital (and WAY before the baby finally decided to greet us), word had spread amongst my teammates and to the entire company that my wife was in labor. The well wishes began to pour in. My colleagues even threw me a virtual baby shower via web conference!

Feeling the love from your colleagues is an incredible feeling, but it’s just one of the things that makes Articulate special. So it shouldn’t have come as a surprise when my colleague, Jennifer, coordinated coverage for all of my scheduled demos in the coming month without hesitation. Or when Andrea, Chip, Ed, Kristin, Michael, and Tanya started copying me on emails to my leads, making sure that our customers didn’t have to wait to get the help they needed, and giving me the peace of mind that I wasn’t costing the company money while I was buried in diapers.

I even watched, baby on my lap, as a few of my deals closed during those weeks. It turns out baby hands are great for high-fives. That’s how the Success Team at Articulate rolls: always surpassing expectations.

In the three weeks since our baby was born, I’ve returned to work. But let’s be honest, things aren’t exactly how they used to be. There’s always an unexpected doctor appointment, or a feeding session that goes long, or, most common in our house, a diaper change of unspeakable magnitude.

Those are the times that I really and truly appreciate the flexibility of working from home, the support of my teammates, and the culture here at Articulate that allows me to balance this strange new world of fatherhood with that other thing I love: empowering our customers to be the best at what they do.

Oh, right! I also get to hear all those cute baby sounds and squeeze those baby cheeks anytime I want, because did I mention Articulate employees work from wherever we want? Not that I’ve taken a work call from the crib or anything—yet.

What I’ve learned is that babies (especially my baby) and money never sleep. And I’m not naive enough to think that my paternity leave—and my less-than-glorious, bed-headed return—would have had some seismic impact on the company’s bottom line, but because of Articulate’s amazing culture of teamwork and customer focus, I’ll never have to know for sure.