As with any fast-growth business, it was an exciting and chaotic place to work in equal measure, but there was also a real sense of purpose in the small London office. It was mainly staffed by salespeople talking to potential clients, but the conversations on the phone were different. Discussions focussed on whether the other business wanted to understand their customers “warts and all”: did they want to put those customers’ views right at the heart of how they ran their business? The discussions were earnest and not everyone was ready for that level of transparency. Some were ready, however, and the business continued to grow quickly.
I think that feeling of a common purpose came from working in a business with a simple goal that is genuinely designed to do good in society: bringing companies and consumers closer together for a better outcome. It also came from Peter Mühlmann, the founder, too. Peter was often in London then and would spend a lot of time listening to the team, talking to them about the conversations they were having, and often actively taking part in them.
This common purpose meant people looked out for each other more, sharing ideas and naturally collaborating more. Sales and marketing people still argued, they always do, but everyone was looking for the answers to the same questions: how did a company improve from really listening to their customers?
A couple of months after joining I went to our office in Copenhagen. If you haven’t been to Copenhagen it’s a great city full of warmth and positivity, despite the Nordic weather. Trustpilot had around 150 people there in mid-2016. The team came from every country in Europe (and many beyond!) and they had that same sense of togetherness I’d come to know in the small office in Holborn.
Whenever we ask what makes Trustpilot special the top answer is the people. That’s probably the answer in any thriving company, but behind that is a feeling of genuine warmth. The word that still gets used a lot, especially in Copenhagen, is ‘family’. Being away from your hometown meant people saw their colleagues as their support network in a new city. This sense of belonging combined with the purposeful nature of the business is a potent mix. The company now has six offices including Melbourne, Denver, Vilnius and Edinburgh. Each of them has its own flavour and community but that sense of belonging and of being part of an extended family runs through them all.
Fast forward two years to 2018 and we decided it was time to update how we presented and talked about ourselves to the world. Trustpilot hadn’t really considered itself as a brand in the traditional sense up to this point, partly because everyone had been focused on growing the business, but also because most people had an instinctive understanding of what the business was really about. The only issue was everyone had a slightly different way of telling the same story. Therefore, we didn’t need to create values for the business to navigate by. It was just about capturing and distilling what was already there. We now have the same values whether we’re guiding the development of our brand or the way we operate internally: our company values. This is what they are and also what the words mean to us.
ALWAYS WITH INTEGRITY: We do the right thing, even when nobody's watching
OPEN TO ALL: Everyone is embraced and included for who they are and what they bring
COLLABORATIVE: We work best when we work together
POSITIVELY HUMAN: We are genuine people that together create the Trustpilot family
Then came 2020, when every business' values have been put to the test like never before. At Trustpilot a common purpose and a feeling of family have seen teams pulling together and supporting each other across the world. We’ve had new slack channels including #teamtrustpilot, dedicated to shout outs with dozens of examples of amazing collaboration and sheer determination to produce great work despite the challenges. The #club-trustpilot-pets channel is where the joy your pet brings you in tough times is amplified for everyone to see.
We’ve had the virtual happy hours to bring people together but also people have just looked out for each other, with small acts of kindness going a long way. When one of our team fell off her bike another team member sent her the books she read whilst recovering from a similar incident. It wasn’t shouted about, it just happened.