The customer-oriented manager.

I must say that I’m very much the same person in private as in my professional life. Intense and a little impatient, always wanting to move forward, preferring to be busy. Lying on the sofa is not my way of recharging. If I have any spare time, I like to take long walks. We live in Rydebäck, near Öresund south of Helsingborg, and I usually walk right next to the sea down to Ålabodarna and Glumslöv’s hillsides with the island Hven as a postcard in the middle of the strait. It’s then and there that many ideas for my work are conceived. Small and big changes that simply must be tested.

What skills brought you to Thomee, and what was your first assignment?

I have been working as a customer service manager at Thomee for five years. We are six colleagues at my department who work to meet the customer and solve problems. It’s a teamwork like no other. My philosophy is that the customer is always at the top of the hierarchy at the company, no offense intended to our CEO. I worked in the travel industry for a long time and have gradually learned about construction products, but my assignment here at Thomee was and is to come up with new angles. To dare to move outside the box and look at the customer relationship in a deeper way. To solve problems and identify opportunities that the customer may not be aware of, which is something completely different from traditional ordering service.

“To dare to move outside the box and look at the customer relationship in a deeper way. To solve problems and identify opportunities that the customer may not be aware of, which is something completely different from traditional ordering service.”

I always want to try something new; to do nothing is to make a mistake, if you ask me. I usually go by my gut feeling, which means I try more and analyze less. When presenting new ideas, however, I’m a bit more strategic.

”I must say that I'm very much the same person in private as in my professional life. Intense and a little impatient, always wanting to move forward, preferring to be busy.”

How do you see change, and how do you link it to challenges in the future?

As a manager, it’s my mission to make everyone believe in the power of change. And I think all co-workers at Thomee have improved in that regard. I also emphasize that it’s not a failure to take a step back if the old way worked better. At the same time, I am a competitive person who wants to measure change and improvement. It’s crucial to realize that we operate and live in the midst of change. We notice that our customers call less, email more and order online frequently. On the other hand, we have a few customers who used the fax machine until last year. Building genuinely personal relationships in the digital world is a challenge where we must try our way forward in order to improve. It’s imperative that we maintain cordial business relations with our customers, showing that we really care. A great example of this caring spirit took place last fall when a customer came back after sick leave; we were all overjoyed about this, and I’m sure customers notice these genuine emotions.

“Building genuinely personal relationships in the digital world is a challenge where we must try our way forward in order to improve.”

You have been customer-oriented throughout your professional life; this mentality seems to be part of your DNA?

Yes, my whole working life has been focused on meeting customers and provide great service and real benefits. Looking back, however, my positions and assignments have popped up quite randomly. My first job was at a campsite, then I worked as a tour guide and ski instructor in Austria for a few years, experiencing a different culture, a different language and a lot of skiing. There, precisely anything could happen, at any time of the day. My dad lives in Austria and we go there several times a year, so German has actually become my best second language, while English is more at a basic level. The winter holidays are always a priority in our family.

“Here, everyone wears the proverbial team jersey, and it always seems to be closest to the heart. I also wear mine when I walk along the sea.”

The most important thing at work is that you have fun, that you laugh well together. And we are really good at that at Thomee; in fact, there have been times when we all have been rolling on the floor laughing out loud. Here, everyone wears the proverbial team jersey, and it always seems to be closest to the heart. I also wear mine when I walk along the sea.

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