Folkert de Neve is Team Lead Customer Success. The title speaks for itself, but in a one-liner: making sure that customers can use Isabel Group products in the best possible way. Whether it’s onboarding or training on premise; customers are given all the tools they need to get the most out of their purchase. Recently Folkert won an Isabel Group value award. The perfect time for us to sit down and get to know him a bit better.
You, yourself and you
Folkert, what character traits characterize you?
Folkert: “I like to have fun and keep a positive attitude. This most likely has something to do with it. With my critical eyes on, I’d describe myself as impatient; I prefer things to move forward (laughs).”
“I’ll add, curious. Do you know about this phenomenon: you watch one YouTube video on some (often ridiculous) topic, and before you know it, you’ve spent days watching it. For example, I am afraid of flying but am fascinated by anything motorized in the air. I flew everything about it to the point where I can tell what kind of Boeing is flying by.”
Would your team members recognize you in these descriptions?
Folkert: “Of course, you are always a little different in private than in a professional context, especially if you manage a team. But I believe that the positive attitude is always present, and that people know they can come to me for help. Relationships are crucial to me in any case; everyone needs to feel at ease at work. Isabel Group just arranged a particularly intriguing change management training course; let me tell you, managing is more than just showing off achievements. I need the input of my colleagues just as much as they need mine.”
Behind the screens
… at home or at the office?
Folkert: “At Isabel Group we are allowed to work hybrid, but when there are meetings, I like to be there physically. In my case, that’s two or three days a week. The best thing about working from home is the flexibility; working from the office has the biggest advantage of getting things done faster. When you see people, it’s always more personal anyway.”
Do you stay up-to-date by reading regularly or do you prefer to swallow the big chunk all at once during boot camp?
Folkert: “I’m not very good at sitting still for long periods of time, so I leave the bootcamp to the diehards. Fortunately, I really enjoy reading, and can really immerse myself in a lot of topics. Yes, I’m a studious person, haha.”
Guts, teamwork, innovation and simplicity are the Isabel Group values. How do you personally interpret them?
Folkert: “Teamwork, that goes without saying; I find trusting each other and being in tune with each other very important. Guts to me means daring to go against the flow. Innovation, then you usually think immediately in terms of products – and that is of course true, a lot of trial and error is done here, tested in order to switch quickly if necessary. But I see it more broadly, also at the HR level, for example. My colleagues there set up many initiatives around flexible working, healthy snacks and so on. That is also innovation.”
“From a Customer Success perspective, for me, simplicity is: making it as easy as possible for customers. Protocols are certainly necessary, but they can be quite time-consuming. Processes are inherently associated with large companies, but they shouldn’t distract you from a particular goal. And I think we strike a good balance here.”