ZLT’s Culture Code – PERFFFECT

“Whether you like it or not, you’re going to have a culture. Why not make it one you love?” Hubspot

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast” Ford

“As we grow as a company, it has become more and more important to explicitly define the core values from which we develop our culture, our brand, and our business strategies” Zappos

Inspired in particular by Moz’s TAGFEE culture code and Rand Fishkin’s explanations about the importance of such a culture code, we have invested a lot of time and effort to devise and implement our own culture code based on the way we have worked for our clients over the past 10 years.

The PERFFFECT code below reflects the core values of Zellera Legal Technology.

  • Positive (staying positive about our mission despite increased competition/search changes)
  • Efficient (we get it done on time or sooner)
  • Results (aiming to get goals accomplished for customers)
  • Fit (each member fits the team, and the team is fit!)
  • Focused (focused on the legal sector or other profitable business, not getting distracted by poor quality work)
  • Fun (the third F; enjoying what we do, sense of humour even when things go wrong)
  • Excellent (technically excellent in everything behind the scenes and that goes out the door)
  • Communicative (communicating with clear, concise and precise instructions for the team and messages for clients to tell them how great a job we’re doing for them)
  • Tenacious (persevering with challenges until we find an effective solution)

Positive

Criteria/Principles

  • Staying positive about our mission and our customers’ goals despite increased competition, or search changes, or changing markets
  • Everyone having a positive influence on one another in the team and with our customers

Why we believe in it

  • Because there’s nothing we can’t handle
  • There’s no point in being negative about increased competition or changing search engine practices because things are always going to change
  • Being positive means that we can ask questions like ‘How can we turn this around?’
  • We want to create an environment that’s warm, friendly and exciting
  • We want to stay positive about our own goals and those of our customers so that we’re delivering great contributions

Example(s)

  • With the first Google Panda and Penguin updates, our SEO practices had to change dramatically almost overnight. We worked as a team to devise and implement strategies to make sure our customers kept getting the best possible results. This was made easier because of our underlying strategy of building meaningful and useful websites for customers. At the same time, those companies that continued with old black-hat methods got penalised, allowing us to tell our customers how great a job we had done for them

Efficient

  • No effort wasted

Results

Criteria/Principles

  • We aim to exceed client expectations at all times
  • Staff must be accountable and owner-like. Each role carries with it responsibilities and authority, each role impacts on how we deliver results
  • We are nimble, we are able to adapt to changes in the external environment to ensure continued delivery of positive results
  • We are innovative. Employees are expected to push the envelope in terms of new ways of improving the results we deliver to clients and bring new ideas to the table on a monthly basis
  • We are focused on winning. Our overarching ambition is to be the number 1 digital marketing agency focused on the legal profession in the UK and beyond

Why we believe in it

  • We are results focused. Employees understand that career development opportunities and financial reward are directly and transparently influenced by continued positive performance
  • We feel that there is a real opportunity to be the number 1 digital marketing agency focused on the legal profession in the UK and beyond. The results that we deliver for our clients will determine how close we get to achieving this goal
  • We win as one and lose as one. One person’s positive results impact on entire team. The opposite is also true. Each team member has trust in their colleagues to “work hard and have fun”. We believe in our colleagues to deliver, just as we each shoulder the responsibility of delivering not only for our clients, but each other

Example(s)

Our marketing material reads “we specialise in helping our law firm clients generate business online”. A recent survey of clients who shared their average fee value with us highlighted that on average our clients can expect a monthly return on investment of x10. We deliver these results for our clients because everybody is focused on and has responsibility for their own performance whilst maintaining an understanding of how their role influences the bigger picture.

Fit

Criteria/Principles

  • Everyone who is a part of Zellera Legal Technology fits the team, and the team is fit!
  • Skills are less important than attitude
  • Fitness leads to more energy and more energy results in better concentration and a better ability to maintain good health – so exercise before, after or during work is always a good thing

Why we believe in it

  • We’re a team and a good team is always greater than the sum of its parts. As a team we all have individual roles with common goals and our ability to achieve these goals will be hampered through friction, lack of communication or missed deadlines. Avoiding such events is the result of working as a team and fitting into the ethics, approach and team orientated approach of Zellera Legal Technology

Example(s)

  • We received a call from the owner of a large national event, who was looking to get a website done quick style. Within half an hour of the call, he had his proposal from the BD team. As soon as confirmation was received, the operations team went into action implementing a responsive template, transferring content over from the old site, implementing the site structure and setting up social media accounts. Within 5 days of talking to us his site was up and running and he’d had his first exhibitor bookings via social media
  • We received an enquiry from a Birmingham law firm through our website which the BD team followed up on. Operations looked through the website to determine what was going wrong and this was then followed up with a number of phone calls before Stephen and Chris travelled to Birmingham to meet up with the customer. This was then followed up by a few more phone calls and a review of their adwords account. Of course, largely this was done to try and win the business but the motivation also came from a desire to genuinely help the customer identify why their online marketing efforts were costing so much money whilst failing to deliver results. We all accept that sometimes our efforts may come to nothing but that trying to help somebody work out what is going wrong is as important as winning the business itself

Focused

Criteria/Principles

  • Focused on the legal sector or other profitable business, not getting distracted by poor quality work
  • Staying focused on meaningful, profitable business that makes a difference and genuinely helps our customers

Why we believe in it

  • Our time is limited and if we want to add great contributions to our customers’ businesses we need to stay focused
  • It’s too easy to get distracted, particularly online
  • If we stay focused, we’ll hit more deadlines and exceed more of our customers’ expectations and we and our customers will see the financial rewards

Example(s)

  • When completing a large project or doing important work for a valued customer, ensuring we’re not multitasking and particularly not doing non-urgent non-important work

Fun

Criteria

  • The third F; enjoying what we do, sense of humour even when things go wrong
  • As a team, we get on well, enjoy our work and laugh often

Why we believe in it

  • At ZLT we care about our team as people as well as staff, and want to ensure everyone enjoys their work
  • We spend about 35% of our waking hours working, so it’s important that we don’t spend that time being miserable!
  • Being actively interested in the work you do produces the best and most efficient work
  • It also means we enjoy trying new approaches, and aren’t worried about if things go wrong
  • There might be nothing we can’t handle, but handling difficulties with a laugh and smile is just better
  • We want our clients to like us and enjoy working with us; we are likeable, capable and approachable
  • By having fun together at work, we can work more closely as a team and support each other

Example(s)

  • Regular social events outside of work, whether it’s a quick drink on a Friday after work every so often or a Christmas night out bonanza
  • Organising team events and activities (e.g. Mo’ Legal Technology, Champs League Sweepstake)
  • In internal emails, we’re not worried about cracking the odd joke, which is important when working remotely
  • We are professional, but informal
  • We share news with each other, whether it’s a new Google Algorithm or a new baby in the family
  • We take a genuine interest in the work we do, and taking the time to try new things
  • We treat our colleagues with respect and support – making sure the laughs are never at the expense of someone’s feelings

Excellent

Criteria/Principles

  • Technically excellent in everything we do behind the scenes and that goes out the door – providing a Rolls Royce service at competitive prices
  • Excellent in our handling of client relationships
  • Excellent in our behaviour towards one another
  • Excellent in our attitude towards our work

Why we believe in it

  • Our belief in excellence encourages constant improvement
  • Our striving for excellence leads to acknowledgment and appreciation of our successes, which further fuels our desire to achieve excellence
  • Our belief in excellence is nurtured by the realisation that the work we do on an individual basis can positively impact the entire team. A transparent lateral culture provides evidence that the work we do on an individual basis has a positive influence on our colleagues professional and personal lives

Example(s)

  • Excellent work = excellent results = enhanced reputation/increased opportunities = increased turnover = increased reward

Our excellent work over the period of 12 months for one London based firm led to them wanting to invest more with us each month, allowing us to offer them our best possible range of services and time allocation and making them one of our highest paying clients. Our excellent work for them and the excellent relationship we developed with them led to them feeling comfortable acting as brand ambassadors for us, encouraging a nervous Birmingham based firm we were courting to change agency and join us. Our excellent approach to relationship building with the Birmingham based firm led to a further two opportunities from other sources referred to us by them.

Excellent work = excellent results = enhanced reputation/increased opportunities = increased turnover = increased reward.

Communicative

Criteria/Principles

  • Communicating with clear, concise and precise instructions for the team and messages for clients to tell them how great a job we’re doing for them

Why we believe in it

  • If you tell a customer you’ve done a great job for them, they will believe it (provided you have actually done a great job)
  • Over 90% of professional service disputes arise because of poor communication. A study in the US showed that if doctors spent a couple of extra minutes on the phone on average to their clients they were much less likely to get sued
  • Communicating effectively within the team means that instructions aren’t duplicated and deadlines much easier
  • It keeps everyone, both in the team and at the customer’s end, informed of every stage of the process

Example(s)

  • Copying all relevant people into emails so every relevant person is informed about what is happening
  • Anticipating a customer wondering what’s happening and pre-empting any inquisitive message by communicating with them, even with a holder message
  • Noticing that certain metrics, such as website traffic, are lower than they should be, devising a strategy to improve and letting the customer know the plan before they even find out about such metrics
  • Using our project management tool Basecamp to keep everyone updated
  • Sending really comprehensive instructions to others in the team or customers where something needs to be done. If the instruction is poorly communicated, there’s a good chance the product/service returned will be just as poor

Tenacious

Criteria/Principles

  • Persevering with challenges until we find an effective solution
  • Holding firm in what we believe – not foregoing our other core principles in favour of quick results or under client pressure
  • Working hard under adverse conditions to find the right solution
  • Chipping away at a problem until we solve it – without being stubborn or blind
  • Committing to growing our business despite our main client base facing a challenging time because we know, if we work hard enough, results will come for us both

Why we believe in it

  • 99% isn’t good enough
  • We’re playing someone else’s game (Google’s and other online platforms, of course) and only by standing firm in the face of change will we succeed
  • You’ll never know how close you were to the right solution if you give up just before you find it

Example(s)

  • Working hard to find the right way to improve a client’s results – and working just as hard at alternative solutions (eg one of our personal injury law firm customers in the face of a shifting personal injury market both online and offline)
  • Firmly managing the expectations of our clients

Want to see our culture in action? Contact us on 01923 750353 and ask for Chris.

ONLINE ENQUIRY

CLIENT TESTIMONIALS


 

“I first came into contact with Zellera Legal Technology through Twitter. Over a period of time we grew our relationship to a point where I felt comfortable instructing them to redevelop my website and manage my online marketing activities for me.

TOM SMITH, Principal, JOHN & TOM SMITH

“They have done an outstanding job of getting our website ranking highly for extremely competitive keywords…Zellera Legal Technology are a pleasure to deal with and continue to deliver great results.”

PATRICK MASON, Chief Executive, PATRICK MASON

“In my opinion, ZLT is at the very top of the website design industry in terms of price, quality of product, and customer service.”

Phillip Mason, Attorney at Law, TOM SMITH LAW

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