It was an enormous challenge. And I loved it!
Discover how Customer Journey Expert Charlotte gives shape to her job, ING and the future of banking.
How do you explain to your friends what a customer journey expert is?
It’s like being product owner, product designer, marketeer, communication specialist and tester all in one. And that’s exactly how I like it. We ask customers what they need, how they work, and how much time they want to spend on it. The next step is to draw them up a customer journey map. We then transform this into a product, which we bring to the market. Next, I provide a few examples.
Do you need to have a background in IT to become a customer journey expert?
No. Just look at me. I took a degree in German studies and PR. What you do need is a digital mindset. Plus a penchant for technology and doing things differently. These were attributes I already had as a child. I was only 6 when I started playing around with computers. Also, my Dad was one of those people who put together their own computers.
How did you end up in an IT environment?
My first job was with a big telecom company. We provided corporate IT solutions. I recruited freelancers for placement with our clients. When you do this you will need to gain in-depth knowledge of IT. You learn a lot from the interviews. About the Internet of things, big data, and even what can go wrong with developing. You gain a lot of expertise on the job.
You get a lot of freedom and I like that. You know what your goal is and you go for it. However, how and when you do things is determined in consultation with your team.
Why did you choose ING (or vice versa)?
ING had just decided to switch to a new, agile way of working. This was an enormous change for a company that size. Sort of like a start-up, but then with lots and lots of people. “It was a mess, but I loved it.” It gave us an opportunity to give shape to our jobs independently and compose our teams. To contribute to a change.
What are you currently working on?
I am part of the Digital Academy Squad. Our objective is to train all the bank’s customer journey experts so that they will be able to independently create digital content. That’s what you call knowledge sharing. It’s one of our foremost values. We do this by offering training courses and an online platform, and by scheduling time to answer questions. This process also starts with identifying needs, just like you would for a customer app.
A fascinating job?
Absolutely. You get a lot of freedom and I like that. You know what your goal is and you go for it. However, how and when you do things is determined in consultation with your team. If you make any mistakes along the way, you simply fix them and learn from them. Of course, our work is never finished. We are constantly seeking new possibilities for improvement. A customer journey is never fixed, it is always changing.
Your squad, your world?
Not at all. Customer journey experts share knowledge and experiences among themselves. This helps us come up with ideas for new projects. Apart from this, you can also start up interesting ancillary projects. I am examining how ING’s top employer ranking can be improved, for example. And a one of my colleagues developed a sports app that lets you donate points obtained through ING runs to a good cause.
Are you a runner too?
Absolutely. I have participated in the 10-mile Antwerp and the 20-kilometre Brussels runs, as well as the Spartacus Run. Many of my colleagues do this as well. ING offers coaching to and reimburses the travel expenses of our colleagues who participate in the Lanzarote triathlon. Getting enough exercise is encouraged here.
- Was raised bilingual (attended a Dutch-speaking primary school and a French-speaking secondary school)
- Studied PR in Paris
- Embarked on a career in telecommunications and IT
- Transferred to ING Belgium in 2017
- Loves running and all things digital