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How making values genuine translates into great customer service for Harris + Hoole

3 min read

How making values genuine translates into great customer service for Harris + Hoole

In part 2 of a 3-part Leadership Conversation series, Brad Palmer, CEO and cofounder of Jostle Corporation, and Nick Tolley, CEO and founder of artisan coffee shop venture Harris + Hoole, discuss how making values genuine translates into great customer service.

This is a transcript of a live Leadership Conversation between Brad Palmer, CEO and cofounder of Jostle Corporation, and Nick Tolley, CEO and founder of Harris + Hoole. This is part 2 of a 3-part series.

Brad: Nick, in terms of the initial definition of, and the ongoing communication and evolution of, that culture, is it defined around identified values?

Nick: Yeah. It’s one of the things, isn’t it? You can list your values until you are sort of blue in your face, and everyone can memorize the values until they are sort of blue in the face, but I think that is stupid, it doesn’t take. For everyone throughout the business the most important thing is leadership culture. If you are living those values as well they very quickly become real. So sure you need try to list those values in a literal sense, but there is no point throwing them up on an overhead. What is more important is people seeing the top-down respect for those values.

It is also important that all of our rules and processes, and the ways we relate to them daily, directly reflect our values.

I think it is not rocket science, it’s just making sure that whatever your values are they are constantly reinforced in every part of the business from behaviors though to way that you interact with people.

Brad: And behind all that is your greater task, which is to grow a large business in the crowded, highly competitive, and maybe even a bit fickle market.

Nick: Yes, that is the challenge. I mean fundamentally we wouldn’t be doing it if we didn’t genuinely believe that we were not only offering something different, but also something better. That means we are here with a very really high-quality product, but you are right, it is a massively crowded space and a very competitive space. Some bigger and better companies that came before us have struggled a little bit, so we are very conscious of the challenge.

Brad: So how does that relate to your brand? What is the interplay between the deployment, if I can say that, of your culture and your public-facing brand? Presumably, that is a big part of driving your growth.

Nick: Yeah I think there needs to be alignment between the values and culture of the business and the values and culture of the brand itself. I mean there is no point having a brand that stands for one thing and have the values and culture stand for something else. I think we are in a position where our values and culture are very strongly aligned with the brand. And the brand, we hope, is a brand suitable to competing strongly in the coffee sector.

Ultimately, I think if your values and culture are built generally around dignity and respect for your people, then I think this will very quickly and readily translate into the way they treat their customers. And in such a high-touch industry as coffee shops, that is very, very important.

Brad: Nice.

About Nick Tolley:

Nick Tolley is an entrepreneur and cofounder of the Harris+Hoole and Taylor St Baristas coffee shops, which he started with his siblings Andrew and Laura to bring the high-quality coffee they were used to at home in Sydney to the UK.

About Harris + Hoole:

Harris + Hoole is an artisan coffee shop venture founded by siblings Nick, Andrew, and Laura Tolley (the founders of Taylor St Baristas) in 2012. It aims to set a new standard in high street coffee, using some of the latest artisanal barista techniques and technology to ensure maximum flavour and quality. We've captured the Harris + Hoole Jostle journey in a case study.

About Leadership Conversations:

Our day job at Jostle is creating a platform that helps leaders engage employees, drive culture, and catalyze collaboration. Through this Leadership Conversations series we seek out top people-oriented leaders to explore these topics with us. If you know someone we should include in this series, please contact us at leaders@jostle.me.


Brad Palmer

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