I was very fortunate last week to be invited to a very smart dinner at Windsor Castle in the company of the Earl and Countess of Wessex. The event was connected to my company Comxo’s sponsorship of the Windsor Festival Youth Art Competition. As we went into the dining room of Norman Tower, one of the oldest rooms of its kind in the country I scanned the table for my place setting and saw that I was to be seated next to a ‘Lady’.
I soon discovered that not only was my dinner companion titled but she had also been High Sherriff of Berkshire…impressive. As the dinner progressed she asked me the perennial question…’So what do you do?’ . In a panic that I might find myself explaining the fascinating details of ‘outsourced switchboard’ and ‘global on demand business services’ I had a flash of inspiration and told her ‘don’t ask me what I do…ask me why I do it’
The why is always more interesting than the how or what because it gets to the heart of the matter.
For my why lets go back to 1989. Fresh back from graduating university in Boston where I had been working directly with futurologist and entrepreneur Peter Diamandis (ISU, X Prize, Singularity University) setting up The International Space University..(that’s another story!)
Cramped in a tiny office above a bagel shop I was intern to Peter building an institution that today is the foremost institution for space studies the world. As part of a team of 4 people building a dream the work pace was frantic, always on the phones (way before mobiles) we called sponsors, professors, ex astronaut and presidents. The US was a phone based economy, they understood that being easily contactable made doing business easy and that drove revenue.
So back in the UK I was stunned by the pedestrian pace and slovenly approach to phone interaction. Setting up my business my experience of calling into businesses large and small companies was appalling. You were lucky if anyone picked up the phone, you were even luckier if they were polite to you and hit the jack pot if they had the nouse to take your details correctly and put you through to the right person.
My story came to a head when the property of my dreams came within my reach. A small farm my family had been trying to buy for generations came on the market and a race to buy it ensued. Trying to contact our lawyer to put the deal together was a nightmare. Every time I called no one picked up, messages were not delivered, no one returned my call…we lost the farm and the law firm lost our family as customers.
In retrospect perhaps I should thank them because it was in this moment of anger and frustration that I thought…
“There must be a better way, there has to be a need for an absolute specialist, delivering exemplary switchboard experiences to law firms. I can help lawyers be easy to contact and make doing business with them (at least) a pleasure at ‘first contact’ and this will drive their revenues.”
So was born my business in Windsor providing extraordinary people, polite in nature, professional in demeanour, proficient in technology with bags of personality delivering a wonderful experience to my customers clients whenever they want to get hold of their trusted advisers.
Today 40 top 100 law firms and hundreds of professional service firms in banking, insurance, architecture and financial services use us to impress their customers whatever time they call, from wherever in the world they happen to be for whatever they want…that’s WHY I do!