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Huddle's 2023 Recap

This year has been a bumper one, we’ve had a lot of change over the last 12 months and are entering 2024 in a great place. But before we sail on into a new year, I like to reflect on what we’ve achieved this year and how far we’ve come.

18th December 2023

We invested in our team

Our team has grown considerably this year, and not just with the addition of new people.

After working with us on a contract basis last year, Rachel bought into the Huddle culture and vision and decided to come in-house on a permanent basis. Her career experience and natural people instincts have proven invaluable to us and our growth this year.

In the latter half of 2022, I met Clare, who was pursuing a career change and learning to code. Clare became a tutoring student of mine and in time I got the feeling she would make an excellent fit at Huddle. She accepted a position with us in January and since then her dedication to learning and hard work has made her a key asset.

It’s been a year of change for Emily, who transitioned into a full time QA Manager role this year, a result of reviewing her career goals and the changing team structure at Huddle. As is her nature, she has made this switch with a positive attitude, and has used the opportunity to take real ownership of her role, taking the lead on measurable KPIs for quality and the introduction of automated testing.

Emily has taken the lead on measurable KPIs for quality and the introduction of automated testing.

Cameron has continued to develop his skillset, take on more responsibility and become more instrumental with bigger client retainers and projects, leading on client meetings and key decisions. With the addition of Clare to the team, he has been given the opportunity to build his developer support skills, rising to the challenge and accelerating Clare’s development.

I am so grateful to our team and their continued hard work, collaborative spirit and influence in Huddle’s journey. Sometimes I still can’t believe how far we’ve come since Harry and I first started nearly a decade ago in his spare room! It’s both rewarding and exciting to see how the team continue to help shape the company into a stronger and more supportive and creative place to be.

We invested in Huddle

This year was a year of change – an opportunity to rethink how we work and what we can do better.

After bringing Rachel in-house, meeting with an accomplished digital product leader and researching new and innovative ways of working, we completely reinvented our project delivery process.

We now operate a sprint-based methodology across the entire team, undertaking fortnightly sprints to deliver tangible outcomes to clients on a regular basis. This has increased our output dramatically, while simultaneously managing team stress and reducing margin for error. Our on-time delivery has improved by +48% as a result, and it has been our most productive year so far in terms of billable retainer outcomes.

We also restructured our client services team. Having tried the trendy agency ‘producer’ roles, where individuals wear many hats and spin many plates, we decided that ultimately this didn’t enable us to deliver our best work to clients. By bringing Rachel in-house as project manager, switching Emily to a full-time QA role and allowing Tom to focus more on client care and developing new opportunities, we are now playing to our strengths and taking ownership over our part in the process.

We have also made incremental improvements throughout the year, including developing an online client portal, a PDF client handbook and pre-project checklist, and reducing our phone waiting time by around 70%.

We’ve developed a new client portal, a PDF client handbook and reduced our phone waiting times by 70%.

In terms of stats for the last 12 months, our CSAT client satisfaction this year is 100%, up +7% since last year, and our NPS score is 80%, up +3% and 20% above industry average for our sector (more).

As if that weren’t enough, we underwent a complete rebrand in April! I’m chuffed we were able to deliver this whole project ourselves, as this has injected a fresh energy into how we present ourselves to the world, which feels more authentic and natural than ever.

One of the things I love most about Huddle is our continued drive to improve. It’s very satisfying to know that every project is better than the last, and keeps me excited about where we will be this time next year!

We invested in our clients

We have worked more closely than ever with clients this year, getting under the skin of who they are and what they do.

We’re lucky to have forward-thinking clients who trust us with a “no bad ideas” collaborative attitude. We love coming up with new ideas, discussing possibilities, and implementing plans to use them to deliver tangible value.

We worked with Manchester Digital to tackle a specific challenge around supporting members to promote job vacancies. We delivered app-like push notifications for one website, making use of the recent iPhone support for the new technology. We delivered digital QR code business cards, dynamic email footers, an innovative Slack integration, and more.

Now, to invest in some mince pies

We will be working with some select new clients in 2024, who are doing fantastic and exciting things which we’re looking forward to supporting them with.

For now, we are ending the year in a great place and are mostly excited for a well-earned break over the festive period! Some time to decompress, reflect, and come back in 2024 with renewed vigour and verve.

From all of us at Huddle, Merry Christmas and see you next year!

December 18, 2023
By Tom Parson