There was a time when I traveled a lot – as a flight attendant at KLM, and occasionally as a mountain climber. Living from a suitcase or backpack, I had the privilege of experiencing how special and versatile our planet is. During that time I learned two important lessons: the power of being customer-centric, and the importance of sustainability.
I enjoyed jungle treks in Brazil, snorkeling in Malaysia, and safaris in Kenya. I experienced the hospitality in Syria and the confidence of Australian farmers. And nowhere did nature command more respect than in a hurricane wind at 6,000 meters.
But beyond all that beauty I witnessed the guileless and disrespectful side of some people – with regard to the earth, and to each other. How we judge without understanding, and pretend ownership of “our” planet. I also came to understand the inconvenience of twelve hours in an airplane seat. I realized that learning starts with listening, and progress starts with trust.
And that is what I have made my job.
Later as a reputation manager at KLM, I developed groundbreaking ideas on social media servicing. Everything was aimed at looking from the outside in. There are two sides to each story, and criticism can be embraced. If you genuinely care about your customers, you will get a lot in return. With that, KLM became world champion on social media for four consecutive years.
The good news is that more and more organizations are starting to take customer experience and sustainability seriously. Getting there requires building bridges to create trust. After all, with trust comes progress, and that is what I am committed to contribute to.
It is my personal mission to achieve progress by building bridges, and in doing so, have a positive impact on a sustainable balance between people, planet and profit. It drives my ambition to develop and realize a purpose-driven experience by connecting customers and organizations based on trust. The result is a win-win for all stakeholders.
My approach is to carefully fuse facts, opinions, interests and possibilities into original concepts and concrete solutions. Because therein lies my strength: connecting the dots through a combination of analysis, intuition and creativity, plus the habit of exceeding expectations with that.