Nienke Bloem is an acclaimed Customer Experience (CX) consultant and a distinguished keynote speaker on CX. Her passion for the field of customer experience is evident in her credentials and her work. Nienke is a certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP). Notably, she is one of the few CX professionals in the world who is an Authorized Resource and Training partner of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA). Her mission is to make the world a more beautiful place for employees and customers.
Nienke started her career by serving in management and sales positions in the finance and the telecom sector. Subsequently, she served as the Manager of Customer Experience at KPN, a Dutch telecommunications company, where she was hugely successful in making the organization more customer-centric. Currently, she is an independent CX consultant and her clientele includes prominent brands such as ABN AMRO, Zendesk, and Amadeus. The testimonials from her clients speak for her work. Little wonder that Nienke is one of the most sought-after CX experts in the world!
It was an honor and pleasure to interview Nienke and receive her insightful responses to the following questions.
What role has Customer Experience (CX) played in the journey of your company?
Customer Experience was the basis of the transformation of KPN, where we raised the NPS from -14 to +2 in 2.5 years. Customer experience is now fully my business as I am an entrepreneur in CX.
In your journey so far, which is the one CX initiative you had pioneered that you are proud of the most?
The one initiative that I am extremely proud of is the Ambassador App that was created at KPN. The situation was that employees weren’t happy working for the organization. For example, when they were at birthday parties, they were hesitant to share that they worked at KPN since many of their relatives were often complaining of the service. To resolve this, we developed an app, whereby customers could register their complaints and compliments. Due to the app, employees were able to resolve these complaints fast and the customers were also informed of the resolution process. But as an extra effect, we learned, that often the relatives didn’t have real complaints, but just liked the complaining itself. That they were old stories that still influenced the current experience. With the app, these stories evaporated at the birthday parties. This initiative gave an incredible boost to employee ambassadorship and pride in the culture.
Generally, teams are always caught up in initiatives that are already planned. In this endeavor to meet the existing KRAs, initiatives that could actually create a positive CX get missed out. How would you handle such a situation and align the team towards the CX goal?
The business approach towards this is to always align with the KPIs and to get leadership buy-in. The more appealing human approach would be to let the Decision-Making Unit feel the impact that positive customer experience can create in an organization. So, you must find fun, innovative, and experiential methods to introduce the CX initiatives.
What is your vision around CX at your company? How do you see it evolving in the next couple of years?
I see it as a serious business discipline that is growing. I believe that in the next few years, we will see a growth in the team, the budget allocated on CX initiatives, maturity of such initiatives, and the impact they could have on the business decision.
What is your word of advice for businesses embarking on the journey of customer-centricity?
My best advice to such businesses is to never give up and to always smile. You will succeed if you are persistent. When you love your customers, they will love you back. So, never give up and keep pushing through with a smile on your face.
Follow Nienke Bloem on Twitter Follow @NienkeBloem
Image courtesy: Bram Vanhaeren – HypeBea
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