Danny is a Customer Support Specialist, or as he jokingly describes himself, “Timewax’s first port of call for questions and problems”. With his passion for knowledge, explaining and living day to day, he fulfills this role like no other. Moreover, for many customers he is also the face of our company – the one they email, speak to and see most often.
But how did Danny become this – the seemingly know-it-all point of contact for Timewax? You can read that and more in this blog interview.
What is your role at Timewax?
As a customer support specialist, I deal with many different things. Our customers initially come to me if they have questions or problems. Then I see if I can solve it myself – I can often help immediately with first-line questions such as explaining certain functions or integration issues with systems such as AFAS and Exact. In the latter case, I dive into the error logs to see where exactly things are going wrong.
But if coding really needs to be done, I always pass it on to the developers – I code at home as a hobby, but at Timewax there are specialists who can do that much faster than me. It is up to me to communicate about this and handle it with the customer. It is then also up to me to update our support pages. There I explain the known questions and problems so that the customer understands how the system works and can prevent the same problems in the future or solve them themselves.
In short, “I am the Jack of all trades, who ensures that everything continues to run smoothly and keeps the customer satisfied at Support”. And if I really can’t figure it out, I pass it on to Mark or Jurgen – they know Timewax inside and out, so they always know where we can find the answer.
How did you end up here?
I have worked in all kinds of places – as a buyer at the auction, at Elsevier publishers and in the sales department of a Boeing subsidiary. But at a certain point I no longer had a challenge in my work, except having to compete with all those new managers who were appointed. Then I quit and took a whole summer off. That was also when my son went to school for the first time and then I quietly went to see what I wanted.
I have always worked with customers and I always enjoyed that. I also implemented new systems such as SAP. I know a little bit about most systems and a little bit about everything – I’m a real self-taught person in that regard.
Then in 2019 I was talking to Timewax for the position of Customer Success Manager, but during the conversation Jurgen said “we also have a support position that needs to be filled; aren’t you interested in that?” Then I quickly thought “yes – and why? I got a good feeling from those conversations and they looked carefully at my qualities and what suits them well.”
Then I started just before the Corona period and worked in the office for six months and then a lot from home. I still work partially from home; that is possible with this role.
What do you like about your job?
I have a lot of customer contact and it is very diverse work. Every day is actually different and I really like that. I get the most satisfaction from explaining a very complex problem to the customer in a simple way. I like to give my explanation in a narrative and graphic manner, with metaphors or analogies so that the customer can easily understand it and get a clear picture.
Moreover, I like that it is a very flat organization. You literally stand at the director’s desk and ask “how are we going to do this and that”? I’ve always done that since my first day at work, my first employer was my dad, so I would tap him on the bald head while the management was sitting there. That’s how I learned to always ask questions and that’s how I always tell our customers: “There are no stupid questions, except the question you don’t ask – because you will never get an answer to that”.
So we easily visit each other or Slack and discuss an issue and meet up. This can be done very quickly at Timewax – despite the fact that it is a small company. That really bothered me at such a large company like Boeing, “implementing changes there is like steering the Titanic with a paddle – you’ll get there, but it’s going very slowly.”
Finally, “with us the customer is king but we are the emperor”. If they ask for something that is not there and that is not going to happen, then no is simply no. I will of course substantiate this and explain why or how exactly it works. That is also part of my job. I also sometimes receive complaints, but that is actually only if something new actually needs to be developed to solve the problem – and that is sometimes a different priority for us than for the customer.
What do you see yourself growing into?
I’ll be honest, I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow – I barely know what I’m going to have for dinner tomorrow night. Life is so different every day, but if you ask if I want to grow within the company and if I want to stay here? Yes, I feel good and at ease here, I am seen here both on a personal and professional level.
I also want to develop further commercially. Our systems and Support are getting better, making my job less and less demanding. This means that I no longer have to devote my full attention to this in the future and have room to take care of things for our Customer Success Managers.
And if I ever do something completely different, I will retrain as a teacher. Support is also half a teacher’s role – it is troubleshooting, solving, explaining, and preventing for the future. This includes educating your customers and sending them the correct information. But I also realize that not every customer is the same and that I therefore have to adapt my explanation to the person I have in front of me. I sometimes catch myself rushing through something too quickly instead of figuring out the question behind the question. They used to call me “absent-minded professor” for that reason.
But I prefer to do that customer contact face-to-face as much as possible. So if I have to email twice about something, I prefer to have a conversation – and for very complex issues I sometimes even visit the customer. That’s only 3-4 times a year, but I always enjoy days like that very much.
Ultimately, my approach is always: “I don’t just want to give a fish, but teach someone to fish” – now as a customer support specialist, and perhaps in the future as a teacher.