Bilal Boubkari en April Thijm
Continuously improving for our customers
HypING in Amsterdam manages the entire spectrum of mortgages for consumers. Every day, the various Customer Loyalty Teams (CLTs) within HypING strive to provide the best possible customer experience. How? Bilal Boubkari and April Thijm explain more.
Although Bilal and April both work within HypING they have very different roles, which underlines just how varied HypING’s scope is. April is part of the team that handles enquiries regarding switching to a lower interest rate and early repayment. Her customer portfolio is made up of consumers, solicitors and mortgage advisors. Her job involves a lot of administrative work and she spends much of her time on the phone. Bilal’s team is relatively new. Bilal: “Our team devises and develops initiatives and tools to further improve our service to customers in new and surprising ways. We want our customer experience to have the ultimate ‘wow’ factor.”
April has been with HypING from its inception. “We’ve made great strides since then, and we’re well on the way towards supporting our customers from start to finish. We’re constantly experimenting with new ideas for making the service we provide even better.” Bilal’s team initiates, tests and analyses those new tools and ways of working, but always maintains close contact with the Customer Loyalty Teams. “In the case of a tool like online chat, for example, we investigate whether it could be used, and if so how. We set it up, then the CLTs test it in practice and give us feedback. We think up some of the applications ourselves and other projects are assigned to us by the management or the CLTs. I really love all the creativity – there are so many ideas for us to work on – and the inspiring discussions we have, both as a department as a whole and within the individual teams.”
Freedom and autonomy
Whereas Bilal’s role spans pretty much the whole of HypING, April’s work is focused within her own team. “We’re a very varied bunch of people, each with our own strengths which combine to create a successful mix. We work as a self-managing and agile team; we know exactly which goals we need to achieve each day and decide amongst ourselves how we’re going to do that. Everyone shoulders their own responsibility. It’s a really great way to work, and we have all the freedom and autonomy we could wish for in terms of deciding how to tackle things. We never have to get decisions approved by loads of people.” “That’s true!” says Bilal. “If you have an idea, no matter how crazy it might seem sometimes, you’re always given support to set the wheels in motion and just try it. I’ve got a number of small experimental projects like that on the go right now. That makes my job even more fun.”
They both agree that the huge diversity of the HypING workforce is another plus. “This department is a real melting pot of people from virtually all cultures and backgrounds.” April: “My colleagues are a big part of why I enjoy my work so much. It’s so important to be happy in your team.” Bilal: “I completely agree with that. Here, we all pull together with the customer in mind. If the customer is happy, then we’ve all had a good day.”
Rapidly changing environment
Despite their diversity, all ‘Hypers’ have a number of things in common. They all have a degree and the necessary financial services qualifications, of course, but they are also characterised by their creativity, enthusiasm, energy, focus on growth and tremendously flexible mindset. Bilal: “We work in a very rapidly changing environment, so you have to be able to cope with that, plus you and your team are responsible for your own successes. If you thrive on that, then there’s no better place to work than ING.”
April did a degree in socio-legal services and started working part-time at ING before she had graduated. Customer contact is the common thread running through her career. Outside of work, she goes to the gym several times a week and she also enjoys spending time with her family, including travelling with them to far-flung destinations. They went to Barbados this year, and they are planning a trip to Mexico next year.
Bilal studied retail management and worked part-time in the mortgage department of Nationale Nederlanden during his studies. He joined ING in a commercial position in mid-2018 and he was subsequently offered his current role within HypING. Bilal puts his heart and soul into boxing; he trains five times a week. Besides that he is a very social person who loves to spend his free time with his friends and family.