Behind Classy’s Core Values: Adapt and Overcome

6 min
core values
William Schmidt
Will Schmidt

We have six core values at Classy that every employee aims to infuse into their lives, both personally and professionally. They stand to remind us what our company represents, the kind of people we want to be, and the value we bring to our nonprofit clients.

We always strive to:

  • Stand for something
  • Create meaningful value
  • Lead by example
  • Always be learning
  • Dream big, execute smart
  • Adapt and overcome

While all these values have deep meaning for us, the willpower to adapt and overcome is a driving force of the Classy culture. And it’s an especially critical value for our customer support team.

We sat down with them to discuss how they leverage this value to influence their role and the way they approach their work.

1) What does “adapt and overcome” mean to you?

Sarah Yee: You have to be able to handle yourself in any situation. For example, sometimes we have tough conversations with clients that might be looking for a specific feature that’s not currently available on Classy. We always advocate for the client, surface their feedback to the product team, and help them think of creative workarounds.

Jo Moya: Nobody is ever accusatory. With software, or with anything in life, things go wrong. We never let that wear us down, and we never let people hang their heads low. Together, we’re optimistic and positive while we work together.

Katherine Peters: For our team, one thing that really stands out is that we’re a unit. We make sure we’re all successful—that we adapt and overcome—together. If one person is having a tough time, we lift each other up. Everyone is going to do whatever it takes to make sure we get the job done, and we get it done right.

2) What’s your philosophy on customer support?

Taylor Luebkeman: We help clients understand that we really do care about their success on Classy and that we can help them with all their problems. We want to see them succeed as much as they want to succeed. And that’s part of why any of us even work here in the first place.

Paige Ledesma: I’m a super curious person, and I love new opportunities to learn something about Classy or a client that I didn’t know before. So, if a client comes to me with a question that I might not know the answer to, I will do my best to become an expert on the subject matter. That helps make my future interactions more meaningful and helpful to someone that I might work with on a similar issue later.

Jo: As a manager, when I’m hiring people, I can check off all the boxes as far as their experience and skill sets but I can never teach somebody how to be empathetic or nice. I want all our clients to know that these are the qualities our team possesses. The people helping them on the other side of the phone, chat, or email are truly bringing their best every day.

3) What are your different skill sets and how do you apply them to your job?

Tim Kanter: I think something that’s really attractive about our support team is the level of experience we all bring. We all sit next to each other, and we bounce ideas off one another all the time. When you are talking to one of us, you are talking to all of us.

Julian Joseph: I’d say our team is good at interconnected dependability. We all have different specialties that work together. Mine is apps and the more technical sides of things. If someone is in a difficult technical situation, they ask me for help. If I need to explain technical things in an understandable way, I ask for help. Our different strengths and skills make us more effective as individuals and a whole.

Phil Sansone: I take time to understand the mission of each organization, and I remember each person I talk with. We work with so many people every day, but those are opportunities to build relationships. Something as simple as bringing up a previous conversation can go a long way.

4) How do you help clients reach their goals?

Marshall Peden: We’re incredibly committed to our clients. We work really hard to build strong relationships with them, which helps us understand all angles, frustrations, needs, and goals for a conversation or issue.

Britney Haas: We help with everything, big and small. One time, someone read one of our blog posts about hashtags and asked me what it was. She was curious how it could carry through things like social media posts and emails to unify a campaign. It was a great question, we dug into all things hashtag, and worked up a great strategy together.

Julian: We’re very persistent. I’m never satisfied with any answer unless I know the reason behind it and what the root of the problem is. I want to know why it’s happening so I can make sure it’s fully solved.

5) How do you work through challenging situations?

Katherine: There are always so many moving pieces and small details in our world, so you can’t jump to conclusions or answer issues right away. Patience is key, because we need to give clients the answers they need, not just a quick fix or a bandage.

Jo: I’m an investigator, problem solver, and Sherlock Holmes type. Every problem I’m challenged with, internally or externally, I love to break the pieces down and understand how I can quickly get a resolution to whoever needs help.

Marshall: I try to get people to open up to me by providing a safe environment for clients to air their frustrations and concerns. That can lead to some very challenging conversations, but they need to be had. When people open up, we’re able to get them past the hardship and back on the path of success.

6) What do you do to de-stress?

Taylor: I love to jam out to good music.


Sarah: I love gardening. I have my own vegetable garden at home and I will usually go out there and weed or collect some vegetables that have come in.


Tim: I live two blocks away from the ocean, and there’s nothing more cathartic than being able to walk on the beach or to the park that overlooks the beach. I’m there at the edge of the continent, looking out at the Pacific.


Katherine: The water is so calming. I’ll either take a quick walk down to the bay to watch the waves come in or go for a quick jog on the beach to see the sunset.


Jo: I love to work out.


Paige: I love to cook, especially for people. When I de-stress, I usually find myself in the kitchen—or cleaning. The repeated motion of doing laundry is really therapeutic. I like to do something that’s slower paced to unwind.


Brad Harris: I’ll walk, surf, do yoga, and breathe.


Britney: I like to go to the gym after work.


Ed Trujillo: You’ll find me listening to music.


Julian: It’s going to sound bad, but work.


Kara Kolibas: I’m a big skin care person, so I love to do face masks.


Phil: I’m pretty good with my stress levels—an easy-going person in general, but I usually take a walk.


Marshall: Definitely spending time with my kiddos. They’re one and four now, and being with them is super relaxing.

By its very nature, customer success both solves and prevents problems, daily. Not only does our team assist and empower organizations to raise more money and succeed, but they do so by first overcoming roadblocks within their own roles. This resolve is what drives them as they constantly adapt and overcome.


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