Do the Right Thing, Even When It's Hard [The Customer Code Series]

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Dharmesh Shah
Dharmesh Shah


Editor's note: This is the final post in a series on the HubSpot Customer Code.

I haven’t decided yet if this is the final tenet in The Customer Code or the “platform” that supports the entire Code. But I think it’s the most important of all -- do the right thing, even when it’s hard ... especially when it’s hard.

It’s hard to admit you made a mistake, and hold the midnight meeting to fix it.

It’s hard to look at your business critically and put in the time, money, and thought to fix pain points in your customer experience.

It’s hard to solve for the success of customers over the success of systems when we know that systems are how a business scales. Making those tradeoffs is hard!

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But it’s the difficulty and the rarity that makes this work valuable.

Doing the hard things is an opportunity to differentiate ourselves and stand out.

At HubSpot, we talk about wanting to build a business that we’re proud of and that has long-lasting positive impact. We won’t achieve that by just doing the easy things.

At the start of the series I wrote about how growth alone doesn’t interest me anymore. I want HubSpot to grow, but more importantly, I want us to grow better. I want us to grow in a way that is good for our customers, partners, and employees.

That’s what The Customer Code is all about. It’s an attempt to create a sort of “code of conduct” that defines how we run our business, and early indicators are that it is working. In our annual planning and in our investments and product decisions, one question keeps coming up: “Does this approach support the tenets of the Customer Code?”

For years we’ve talked about “Solving for the customer.” It’s been a pillar of our philosophy, but it always felt a bit nebulous. The Customer Code is how we now turn that philosophy into practice. It’s how we hold ourselves accountable to do the right thing, even when it’s hard, complicated, expensive, or time-consuming.

In the same way that The Culture Code gave us common language to describe how we as individuals work with each other, the Customer Code is giving us a common language to describe how we as teams and leaders solve for our customers.

So I hope you’ll join us. Either in adopting the Customer Code or creating a code that makes sense for your customers and business.

Every business seeks to grow, but doing the right thing for customers, even when it’s hard (especially when it’s hard) is how we grow better. The Customer Code makes sure we here at HubSpot keep on doing the hard things.

This post is the final installment in a series on HubSpot’s Customer Code. You can find more info on The Customer Code and how we score ourselves here, and watch my INBOUND talk on this topic here.


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