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What do you do when a 7-billion-dollar company acquires the company you work for?

That’s the question Duncan Truesdell was asking himself 3 and a half years ago. With a lot of management experience and success already under his belt, he said he was ready for a new challenge and decided to join the Gatekeeper team as the National Customer Care Manager.

As to what drew him to working for Gatekeeper, he said the reason was simple. “I joined this company because I really believed in the product,” he said.

When Truesdell started, he said he saw a growing company and a customer care department that needed help catching up to the increased demands.

He said that in a month and a half, he had restructured his department and renovated their space to create a more collaborative environment.

“I brought many professional business tools and processes and used them, along with my leadership and management training, to create a solid team and department.

Truesdell said that he learned in his years of experience that the key to building a strong team starts with an empathetic approach.

“My style is really to coach to success versus boss to failure,” he said. “I consistently let my team know that I’m here for them and I do what I can to take care of them.”

He said he also believes in helping his team reach their full potential, and wants to see their careers advance.

“They’re the next-level leaders,” he said. “I want them to grow because ultimately, I grow with their growth as well.”

As for what makes for a great customer experience, Truesdell said a fast reply is essential, as is taking a more holistic approach. “Each customer has their own idea of what a great experience is. It’s our job to find out what that is for them, and to deliver it that way versus staying in a set script,” he said.

It’s having a clear understanding of the big-picture to delivering excellent customer service that Truesdell uses with his team as well. “I find that you can only create great experiences if you’re happy with what you do. So, a part of my job, outside of taking care of the customer, is to take care of my team which in turn develops a mindset to take care of the customer,” he said.

It should come as no surprise that Truesdell fosters emotional intelligence at home as well. “My wife and I are raising our five-year-old son to be self-aware and caring. We really embrace him being communicative and letting us know how he feels,” he said.

Truesdell enjoys painting watercolors, and is even illustrating his own children’s book, but said that one of his biggest passions is gardening.

Patience, planning and cultivation. These are the qualities of a good gardener, and they’re also what make Truesdell stand out in his role as National Customer Care Manager.

“You might have a great customer base or a great team, but you still might need to trim a branch here or there. You still have to stay on it, constantly on it. And that’s part of the passion of it as well,” he said.