#WIB-Q&A With Nathalie Schooling CEO & Founder Of nlighten

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1. Can you please tell us more about your business?

A. The heart of our service lies in empowering businesses with the tools they need to create enhanced customer experiences, and ultimately increase their bottom line. The core of our CX offering is rooted in  providing our clients with  in-depth insights into their customers attitudes, desires, and  pain-points. We provide Voice of the Customer research (VoC) and Customer Journey Mapping, which enables clients to understand what their customers experience, think and feel at each touch point.

By extracting key customer research insights, we build a robust action focused CX strategy that aligns with the business goals of our client. Further to this, we offer Customer Experience Redesign, which uses cutting-edge design thinking principles to optimise an existing customer journey. We also develop accredited CX training programmes for management teams and customer-facing staff.

2. When, how and why did you start your business?

A. I started my business in 2005, after having worked in a commodity industry for many years. I developed a recipe to outperform my competitors and I wanted to share my knowledge with clients who really wanted to use great service delivery as their competitive advantage.

3. What is your role in the business?

A. I am the CEO – I work both in the business on day to day tasks and on the business itself.

4. Where did you study and what did you study?

A. I studied through Damelin, and my background is in HR and training. Since a big part of my job lies in motivating, managing and empowering people, I’ve used my training to help build businesses by capitalising on people, every organisation’s most important and valuable asset.

5. How did you finance your business?

A. I financed my business with every cent I had ever saved including my pension.

6. Describe your average workday, if such a thing exists.

A. After 15 years of running my business, and with a great team that supports me, I have managed to develop a balanced life. I have a 13-year-old son, so I ensure that we spend quality time together and that I make time for exercise, friends, and family.

7. How do you balance your home life and your work life?

A. I have a diary that I follow strictly to ensure that I cover all the important things I need to do in a day.

8. What drives you and inspires you?

A. I’d say the fear of failure has always driven me.  What inspires me is when I see the lights go on behind our client’s eyes when they see the value that our work brings to their business. It’s  the total belief in what we do that keeps me going every day.

9. Where and when do you have your best ideas?

A. My best ideas don’t often happen while I’m at the office. They usually come to me when I have dropped my son off at school and it’s just me, my laptop and a cup of tea.

10. Where and how do you market/advertise your business for sales leads?

A. We use a multi-faceted marketing approach across a variety of platforms. A big part of our marketing effort lies in creating informative industry-related content that is valuable to both our current and potential clients. I write monthly articles and blogposts and we have just launched a customer experience podcast series.

11. What is next for your business?

A. We are very active in training and teaching, so we would like to get into the online learning space. This can be truly beneficial for jobseekers as it really does give candidates an “edge” if they have the knowledge and tools to deliver great service experiences.

12. What advice would you give to female entrepreneurs hoping to start their own business?

A. I always tell young entrepreneurs to make sure they have a mentor or perhaps several mentors who can coach them. It’s also really helpful to join female entrepreneur support groups, so you can learn from each other, share advice and get encouragement. It’s often very lonely starting out, you need to have grit and staying power, and there is nothing quite like women supporting women.

Social media links:

Facebook: @nlightencx

Twitter: @nlightenCX

Instagram: nlightencx

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/n’lighten/