Experience of employees:
'A job I can really have fun with'
Herman van Holland (55), Installation Manager Water Treatment Vierverlaten
'I’m responsible for the water treatment. It’s a nice independent job that I can really enjoy. But also a job that involves a lot of work, partly due to the additional tasks that I’ve been assigned. For example, we’re going to expand the treatment plants and are now making the necessary preparations. It’s challenges like thist hat make my work so exciting. I love it.'
'I work long days with some of my colleagues. I always like to arrive at work an hour early. Then I have time to prepare certain tasks so that my team can start working straight away. I usually supervise around five people, but for some projects that can increase to twenty or thirty. I’m involved with many different disciplines. And that makes my work extra varied.'
'My colleagues here include a number of older employees with a wealth of knowledge and experience. They’ll all eventually retire, of course. So it would be great if we can attract new talent. New colleagues who can receive that knowledge. Because whatever I can do, others can do as well.'
Team Leader Customer Services
‘Helping customers motivates me’
Wiebe van Dis, Team Leader Customer Services Consumer Products
'Our department works with amounts up to 25 kilos. And Customer Services Industry works with amounts of over 25 kilos. Our customers are the large supermarket organizations (the retailers) on the one hand and wholesalers that mainly sell consumer products on the other hand. Suiker Unie has a consumer service for end users. They can contact the service if they have any questions, remarks, or complaints about our products.'
'Having a customer-orientated attitude means putting customers first in terms of our approach and behaviour while also understanding their needs. Furthermore, it means answering their questions quickly, carefully, and in a friendly way, while maintaining personal contact with your customers. So don’t keep sending emails but pick up the phone and call them.'
'You know it’s the right job for you if you get a kick from helping customers. Then I can go home happy. Unfortunately we can’t tell every customer: “We’ll do exactly what you want”. We also have organizational limitations. But you can always work it out together.'
'Suppose a customer wants the product to be delivered at 3 p.m. every Monday afternoon. That’s possible, but it has to be a full lorry, because otherwise we couldn’t manage the logistics. But there are also customers that don’t want a full lorry. Then I can say: "Sorry, it’s impossible." But I often take a different approach. For example, I ask: "Is between 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM an option on that day?" We then consult with the shipper to try to find a solution.'
Sorting things out quickly
'Of course, things can go wrong sometimes. Then, the trick is to have an internal organization that’s structured so that you can still solve the problem before the deadline. And it’s always nice to hear "Thank you for sorting it out so quickly," in response. The nice thing is that a complaint can ultimately make customers more satisfied than they were before they came to you with their problem.'