Customers come first!

10 October 2022

Recently I had the honour to fulfil the position of manager Customer Service at SILS. It feels good to be back to work after a sabbatical with this constant common thread in my career: service and customer focus. Also, in previous managerial positions at, for example, Geberit and V&D, servicing customers was the biggest challenge I took on with my team. I also obtained my bachelor’s degree on this subject at the time. In short, customer satisfaction is close to my heart. In other words: customers come first!

Customer-friendliness requires a proactive attitude                                                                                  

My philosophy when it comes to optimal customer-friendliness? It’s actually quite simple: adopt a proactive attitude. You will of course resolve any complaints after they arise. But even at the ‘front end’ in the customer relationship you can actively work on a good relationship. Actually, this is not rocket science, but more of a positive mindset from which you think and act. A concrete example? Email less and call more directly. A voice on the phone feels like personal attention. Also very important: do not only take action when a customer has an issue. Catching up with a customer without a hiccup in the air forges a positive, professional bond. And when it comes down to it, that built-up bond forms a strong safety net from which you can bounce back more easily together.

Internal customer-friendliness

Of course, customer-friendliness is primarily about our external clients. They are our lifeline. But I also see a customer-friendly role for our Customer Service department towards our colleague departments within SILS. We also like to keep our colleagues optimally satisfied. So that we can optimally serve the customer together. We mainly focus on informing each other quickly, completely and specifically. In the coming period we will work hard to further optimize our internal communication from the Customer Service department. The profit? Eliminate any confusion and errors internally. Ultimately, this also results in a maximally satisfied external customer. This means, for example, that from the Customer Service department we are physically present every day at the start of the day in our warehouse. A small effort with great mutual and collegial connection. What’s going on? What could be better? Who picks up what? In short, Customer Service is not only about pleasantly and cooperatively working externally, but also internally.

Safeguarding internal knowledge

We recently saw a number of employee changes in the Customer Service department. My first priority now is to secure all our carefully built up and often very specific customer knowledge. The good news is that we are now able to fill crucial vacancies, despite the overstrained labour market. This means that SILS is now reaping the benefits of its targeted investments in Employer Branding. You understand that one of the crucial competencies on which we select new employees is of course their customer focus, how could it be otherwise? I also like to create a good balance between junior and senior employees in the Customer Service department. The ideal combination of young energy in the field of customer orientation, balanced by experience and expertise.

Personal insight

At SILS we work together professionally, both internally and externally. But it does help if you know a little more about each other. This can help to understand each other as a person. My biggest passion in my spare time is traveling worldwide, you can also find me on the boat in Friesland and I have a lifelong love for hockey. During my recent sabbatical, I also attended a real estate styling course to stimulate real estate sales.

I hope to meet you in my work, and I am proud of all the achievements that the Customer Service department is already achieving.


Norma Castricum

Manager Customer Service SILS