KRIS WAUTERS, SCHINDLER – MY 'CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE' AS CANDIDATE
My first contact with M18 was not your typical interview for a specific role. We had an introductory meeting to get to know each other and kept the contact going. They had at certain point the position of Branch Manager at Schindler in portfolio and I wanted to figure out if I could help.
During my first meeting with Schindler HR, we both did not see enough of a match with the initial function. The Director Existing Installations at that time got hold of my resume and absolutely wanted to talk to me. He shared with me his concern of the current condition of the company and explained he was looking for someone to help the company getting Customer Satisfaction back up. According to him I was that person.
He was right. I have been bringing multiple companies to a leading customer service/centricity position before throughout my career. It’s these kind of missions that excite me, and I absolutely wanted to help Schindler too. So I accepted a role of Branch Administration Manager - Head of Contact Centre & CS .
On my first day at Schindler I had a clear underlying assignment and was excited to get started. When I joined a schedule had been worked out to speak to as many people as possible. For me it was a good start, I got a lot of insights straight away, was then thrown into the deep which gave me even more datapoints, perfect! I then spent the next 30 days observing, followed by 30 days to make a plan and another 30 days to defend that plan. We are now executing that plan.
Before joining Schindler their business was completely unknown to me. For many people an elevator is ‘a moving room with a button’. In the meantime I learned a lot about the business, the technical aspects and what mobility solutions mean in life. It’s an enriching experience, I like it.
The challenges of my role are as I expected. There’s still a lot of work to be done regarding customer centricity, service and also digitalization and we are making progress. It’s a positive story, credit to Christian Waldner (CEO), Wendy Van Dijck (HR Director), former Director EI, Yves Richardet, for their clear desire to put the customer first, and current Director EI Véronique Wendrix to even help accelerate that. 2020 became the tipping point in realizing that ‘bringing the customer back inside’ had to become a strategic pillar, the ambition is to become thé most customer-friendly company in our industry by 2025. All potential is there, I am convinced that in 2-3 years time Schindler will have passed their competition and will become Number 1 in their sector for Customer Service, Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty.
My personal challenge is to keep enough focus. My former Director was right in saying that I’m an entrepreneur that sees money everywhere. It’s difficult for me not to jump on each opportunity and to constantly give priority to 2-3 topics, given that I cannot improve everything at the same time.
I am having lots of fun even if sometimes the job is heavy. For example, I am setting up a customer service centre from scratch in a non-traditional way. Still, I notice that the customer-focus ideas and views are gradually starting to take off.
Finally, regarding my interactions with M18, they went very well. At the time Interim Management was not yet part of M18’s core business. Still, I am an independent business owner and interim manager in a sense. I was presented for a long term mission, a combination of line management plus consulting, the combination of strategy and operations, which is totally my thing. I therefore think that it is a good decision that M18 has launched itself into interim management now.
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