More than colleagues
A close bond as the basis for successful customer relations
March 17th, 2022 | Publication | By: Conclusion MBS
Making Business Successful: that is what Conclusion MBS stands for. A close bond between colleagues is one of the key success factors in achieving this.
Conclusion MBS’ team of professionals loves success, and they communicate with one another almost telepathically. They don’t need endless meetings or brainstorming sessions; put them together, and in no time the best ideas emerge.
Such a close relationship between colleagues is not something you can enforce — and it doesn’t happen all by itself. But when that bond is there, it is strong and pays dividends in terms of customer success. Jan-Douwe Jilderda, Eric Smulders and Jan Ben Mijs of Conclusion MBS are happy to explain how this works.
From small seed to indestructible roots
Jan-Douwe, Eric and Jan Ben worked together previously in different combinations and at different companies. Sometimes there were short breaks in between, but eventually they found each other again. It all started more than ten years ago, when the three men formed a team for the first time. “We soon realised that all three of us were good at coming up with new ideas, and had that entrepreneurial spirit,” says Jan-Douwe. “Of course, there were also differences; one might be more opportunistic and another more cautious, for example. But we value one another's input, and these differences actually bring us further. This led to the seed of a powerful cooperation being planted. In the first months we got used to each other, then in the years that followed we travelled a lot together. And that led to us getting to know one another well, strengthening that bond more and more.”
We value one another's input, and these differences actually bring us further.
“I think the strong connection is also because we all have the same game mentality,” Jan Ben continues. “It’s not a case of having a can-do approach, it’s a case of getting things done. In that respect, there is a very strong match between us — walk the walk, don't talk the talk. And at the end of the walk, we like to have a beer together. If you do that for years and work together intensively, then you know where you stand with each other, and you learn to trust one another and one another's input.”
“We know each other's personalities,” says Eric. “We read and write together. There is respect; we never attack one another. We help and complement each other. We look each other up again — sometimes years later — as colleagues. That shows the strength of the connection we have.”
We are always bursting with energy and ideas. And I think that’s a very fine basis for making an impact for customers.
Passion for retail
What Jan-Douwe, Eric and Jan Ben also have in common is their passion for retail. They have been working for various retail companies for years. “Passion for retail is a strong connecting factor," says Jan-Douwe. "It’s a sector in which developments are taking place at lightning speed. There are many things happening that companies need to address, such as integration in the supply chain and a growing focus on loyalty. Things we enjoy sinking our teeth into. Diving into the trends and developments, discovering what is really ‘hot’ and what is less important.”
“When you work for retail customers for years, the passion only grows,” Eric says. “And because we share this passion, we fan the flames of one another's enthusiasm. As a result, we are always bursting with energy and ideas. And I think that’s a very fine basis for making an impact for customers.”
“Working in retail is great because it’s an industry we all recognise,” explains Jan Ben. “We’re all our customers’ customer and therefore understand our customers only too well. That's good, because you can only really do your job if you truly understand the customer.”
The drive and dedication that this demonstrates is a perfect example of how we work together and how we work with customers.
Hard work and time for a party
When you work together intensively for years and a close bond develops, you build up a lot of memories. These gents just can't stop talking about them. “I can still remember working 36 hours straight with a group of consultants to migrate a customer to the new system,” says Jan Ben. “The customer's store had to open on time, so we simply had to get it done. The drive and dedication that this demonstrates is a perfect example of how we work together and how we work with customers.”
“What has really stayed with me are the many international events we’ve been able to organise,” says Eric. “I think it was really cool how we all put these together. One event in Hong Kong was really one of the coolest to experience. I will never forget it.”
“When I think back on all that we have achieved together, I get a smile on my face,” says Jan-Douwe. “It’s a real privilege to work with such fine people. And of course we disagree sometimes, but that’s not a problem, because we respect each other. We talk it through, put it aside and focus again on that dot on the horizon. Onward and upward!”
The intensive cooperation also ensures many pleasant memories. “I once celebrated my birthday in a bar abroad,” says Eric. “Not just with colleagues, but also with customers. And it was fun! That really is the icing on the cake as far as I am concerned. If we cooperate with the customer as well as we do internally, it is as if we have been colleagues for years. We respond quickly, provide honest feedback, improve where necessary and work to achieve success together. Because in the end, that is why we are in this game after all.”