The basics: a passion for people and services
The telecoms world remained Wim’s natural biotope for over ten years. From Belgacom he went to Mobistar, where he became team leader in the contact centre and then customer service manager. At Orange Business Services, he managed a team of customer service managers. When he left the telecoms market, he became team manager services at IT company Dimension Data.
The common thread throughout his career is very clear: people and services. “My job at the service desk was an excellent springboard. I learned to feel what people want and how to make them satisfied, loyal customers. That experience has proven to be very useful for the rest of my career,” says Wim.
I advise everyone to work on a service desk. You will learn to feel what customers want and how to make them satisfied customers.
Service experience and excellence
At Orange Business Services and at Dimension Data Wim worked in an international environment. Very fascinating, but being on the road a lot became difficult to combine with his family. After an intermediate step at a local IT player, he applied for a job at Ordina. “On LinkedIn I saw that Ordina had a vacancy for a practice manager service experience and excellence. The job seemed tailor-made for me,” he recalls. The contract was signed barely a week and a half later. Since the summer of 2017, Wim has been working on the service offering of the Business Platform Services (BPS) business unit, which helps customers to set up high-performance IT infrastructure.
Technology is just a means to an end
“At the time, the BPS was still called the infrastructure team,” says Wim. “As the name suggests, the team consisted mainly of technically skilled experts whom we outsourced. Ordina wanted to add a strong service component. After all, customers don’t want technology, they want results. Technology is no more than a means of achieving that result. In other words, we must offer a solution that works optimally and continues to do so. This means we are also responsible for matters such as change management and for management, updates, optimisation, etc. for many years after implementation.”
Customers don’t want technology, they want results.
How do you create a service attitude?
Wim was commissioned to work on that service offering and to map out how the business unit can really keep customers satisfied. This involves a lot of work. “It takes a lot of translation to evolve from technology to managed services. So I often still feel like a translator,” laughs Wim. “Recently, I’ve been focusing strongly on training to learn the mindset of service provision. In the future, we will continue to focus on this through an even stronger training programme. I also communicate frequently on themes such as the customer experience or the customer journey on our team site, in order to increase awareness.”
“Through training and internal marketing I combine two of my passions: communicating and coaching people,” he continues. “I love to train young people and see them grow. We’re a very young team and it’s great how quickly people pick up that new mindset. When we recruit new colleagues – a task in which I’m also involved – we specifically look for people who can combine technology and services or who still have the capacity to grow to them.”
It takes a lot of translation to evolve from technology to managed services. It’s great to see how quickly our young people pick up that new mindset.
The importance of a long-term relationship
As a practice lead service experience, Wim also has a lot of contact with customers. By talking to them on a regular basis, he keeps his finger on the pulse, so that he can match the supply and training courses with the demand. Wim is also a service manager at a major Belgian energy supplier – one of the largest customers of the BPS team – where five colleagues work permanently.
“Where we used to outsource a few technical people and possibly provided a service desk, there’s now also a project manager and a service manager,” explains Wim. “As service manager, I call the customer every week to check that everything is running smoothly and there are monthly meetings to discuss the status, the to-do’s and the long-term approach. The service manager is actually Ordina’s ambassador to the customer. But also the other way round: at Ordina, I look after the customer’s interests. Such a long-term relationship is really crucial to customer satisfaction.”
The service manager is Ordina’s ambassador to the customer and also the other way round: at Ordina I look after the customer’s interests. Such a long-term relationship is really crucial.
The demand for services is growing
Does this approach bear fruit? Clearly so, says Wim: “The customers know that we are working on services. I can clearly see that from the questions. They no longer turn to us purely for outsourcing. They want us to take responsibility, monitor their infrastructure and attach SLAs to it. We’re also seeing an increasing demand for change management in projects relating to the digital workplace.”
Customers no longer turn to us purely for outsourcing. They want us to take responsibility, monitor their infrastructure and attach SLAs to it.
ITIL as a guarantee of quality
To arm his team for that assignment, Wim strongly believes in the ITIL principles: best practices that indicate how IT service providers can guarantee that their customers get the products and services they want. Wim: “I’ve been following the developments around ITIL for a long time and am proud that Ordina is one of the first IT service providers in Benelux to be ITIL4 certified. Ordina is strong in agile and DevOps, two aspects to which ITIL4 attaches great importance. By following the best practices, we save time and work more qualitatively – with nothing but benefits for Ordina and especially for our customers.”
I am proud that Ordina is one of the first IT services in Benelux to be ITIL4 certified.
Offering a uniform customer experience
“The last two years just sped by,” Wim concludes. “I’m extremely pleased that we have made such big leaps forward with our team, in close cooperation with the other business units. I firmly believe that in the coming years we will be able to work even more closely together to offer our customers a uniform experience. Because that’s what it’s all about in every business, and certainly in ours.”