The Nest in The Netherlands – Spotlight on Arthur Vermeulen
Arthur joined The Nest team this year to support Dutch fast-growing companies as our new Business Director in The Netherlands!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
To tell you a little bit about my background: I would say I’m a dedicated individual, motivated by inspiring people, driving change and delivering results in a progressive and dynamic environment. I just moved to Utrecht with my partner where we enjoy the vibrant atmosphere between the canals. On the weekends we enjoy kitesurfing – we like to pick our vacation spots based on the wind conditions. Our next goal is to travel to Brazil to explore the culture, cuisine, nature, and of course, the ideal kitesurfing conditions.
I gained a lot of my work experience prior to Webhelp at a global management consulting firm. In early 2019, I took over the responsibility for a customer care account as Client Director at Webhelp. Now, two years later with the launch of The NEST in the Netherlands, a new journey starts! Helping start-ups and scale-ups to accelerate their growth, supporting their teams and improving their customer experience every day.
This is a strategic priority for every business, especially organizations just starting out as they need to make an impact and create a sustainable competitive advantage, particularly in this digital age. It is exciting to work in partnership with companies that have the potential to transform our daily lives in the coming years!
When should a startup work with a third party support provider, if ever?
I believe start-ups can greatly benefit from working together with third party providers, as long as the third party support provider can deliver impact. In this sense, I would like to consider The NEST as an impact provider rather than a third-party support provider. The impact provider has to think and move as a startup – let me explain:
In their first days, start-ups have to focus on many elements such as funding, product development, marketing or building the right team! The main issue is the ongoing scarcity of time, focus and resources for each stage. When hiring an impact provider, the start-up trusts them to understand and to take on their start-up journey without leaving any room for delay and error. This can only be done when we – as an impact provider – fully understand the vision and ideas, and act with the same agility. In this way outsourcing is not old-fashioned but empowering.
As an impact provider, we have to ensure that the start-up and our advisors joining their team breath a customer-centric culture. Any tiny operational detail cannot be ignored as this can have a major impact on the start-up customer experience and reputation. Your first customers will define your future brand reputation. In the first years of your business, this is key to building your competitive advantage for the long run. Once your reputation is damaged, this may be difficult to recover.
The last and critical building block is to move fast and with agility. We must supercharge the start-up growth and work on building its competitive advantages. This requires us to bring forward a competent team with a certain level of autonomy, that perfectly fits the customer culture and fully understands the product or service. The team must be able to quickly adapt to product or service changes, as well as understand and work in a fully omnichannel environment.
When companies use outsourcing service providers for their customer support, they often fear that it will negatively impact their customer experience, how would you respond to that concern? What would you suggest to ensure that they maintain a customer-centric culture?
Our objective is to support start-ups with a dedicated team that will master their processes, products and corporate culture, as any new start-up employee would do.
In the beginning, our advisors are constantly trained and retrained to a start-up’ processes to ensure perfect delivery and customer satisfaction. Working collaboratively ensures that our advisors get the right tone of voice, understand the product or service and breath the start-ups’ culture.
With the support of our operations teams, the start-up will have full access to precise KPIs through regular meetings or reports which can monitor our impact. By having the right processes in place, it empowers the advisors and allows them to obtain key learnings and insights, which can feed back into the start-up and its customers, which will continuously improve the quality of the services provided.
What is for you the biggest challenge for startups in terms of customer experience?
I believe winning the customers loyalty is the most difficult challenge for start-ups. In this fiercely competitive environment, a start-up needs to build loyalty by delivering meaningful communication at that right moment across all the different channels. The challenge is that gaining loyalty is difficult to build and can shift quickly. One negative experience in the digital world can have a major impact. Especially when the marketing and customer base is not stable yet.
As a conclusion, all new start-ups entering the market with an ambition to disrupt their industry should provide a strong customer experience to stand out from their competitors. When perfectly delivered to the market, it promotes loyalty along with revenue gains.
If you are wondering how your fast-growing company can benefit from the NEST, I will be really glad to show you how. Let’s connect!