Redefining customer relationships: Employees and customers going the extra mile

We talk about business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) in terms of the relationship of a business to its customers. At the core, it really comes down to H2H – Human to Human. In the customer relationship management (CRM) business too often the focus is on “customer” and “management”, and not the “relationship” piece. It’s important we remember that beyond a single transaction, it’s all about people connecting with and helping other people.

Trace Symonds of Freeman, a long-time Freshworks customer, went through a difficult and trying time in his life. After 2.5 years of pain and struggles, his partner, Scott, lost his battle with lung cancer. Caring for Scott  took a toll on Trace and, as a result, his own health suffered. In 2015, Trace had planned to do a bicycle ride to raise money in honor of a cousin who had passed away, but had to cancel that ride to care for Scott. He had promised Scott he would ride again, so looking to honor Scott’s memory and get healthy again, Trace focused on his love of cycling as a way to get back into shape and help give back to organizations that needed funding.

Trace with his Freshworks Jersey

From June 3-9, Trace will spend a week on his bicycle riding 551 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise money to help the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center to provide free HIV/AIDS medical care, testing, and prevention services. His goal is to raise $10,000, which will fund the operation of two mobile testing units that takes HIV and STD testing to those who cannot get to a normal testing facility and/or are not willing to bring themselves to a facility to get tested for fear of retribution, harassment, or discrimination.  These units are taken to fairs, festivals, and socio-economic disadvantaged areas. They provide testing to those who may be in a high-risk group, who may not have ever sought out testing through normal channels.

“When you start doing this you don’t realize the community you build,” says Trace, who has a team of 28 working with him to raise money for non-profits that need money and/or have lost funding. And he admits that helping others helps himself. “Every time I’ve done anything this big, I’m the beneficiary. Exercise releases endorphins, endorphins make people happy, happy people are more productive.”

Freshworks’ Holly Berry has a long standing relationship with Trace. She was well aware of the ordeal he had been through so when she heard about his ride to raise money she was eager to help. Being a go-getter herself — and in line with Freshworks culture “get stuff done” — Holly reached out to find resources within Freshworks she could rally in support of Trace’s efforts. Fellow biker Francesco Rovetta rallied the design team and they created the following (awesome) bike jersey to be ready for Trace for his 1st day of the ride.


Designing the Freshworks Jersey for Trace

Good things happen when people look beyond business and consider relationships for what they are: two people finding common ground. You don’t need a script or a manual to figure that out. You need people who care about more than transactions and look to connect in a meaningful way.  

“I’m grateful for all of the support I’ve received and witnessed, and it continues to inspire me to do more and be healthy,” says Trace.

“It helped reinforce to me the power of giving and service, that doing something nice has powerful implications.”

We’re inspired by Trace’s efforts and proud to have him wear the Freshworks jersey, while he fulfils his promise to Scott. If you feel similarly inspired, you can visit his donation page to add your support to help Trace reach his goal of raising $10,000 to fund the operations of those two mobile testing units.