At a Glance
Steven Van Belleghem, Co-Founder, Nexxworks
Focus Areas: Customer Experience, Customer Loyalty, Marketing, Business Strategy
Thinkers360 In-Depth Profile & Portfolio: Steven Van Belleghem
Latest Content: Why level of excitement could be your best KPI?, Empathy is the most important skill you need to become customer centric?, Four cool customer experience (CX) cases you probably didn’t know yet (episode 11)
Availability: Check Steven’s Availability for Speaking
Thought Leader Interview
Thinkers360 thought leader interviews profile prominent members of the Thinkers360 community who embody the power of ideas in their work. In this edition, we speak with Steven Van Belleghem, Co-founder of Nexxworks. Steven brings over 20 years of extensive experience in the field of speaking, from the fields of Customer Experience, Customer Loyalty, Marketing, and Business Strategy. He is also an entrepreneur, consultant, and author that has sold over 150,000 copies of his books.
Steven has authored four bestselling books. His first book, The conversation manager, won the award for the most innovative marketing book of 2010. He was recently featured in the Thinkers360 article Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Change Management (May 2021) as well as Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Smart Cities (February 2021).
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Thinkers360: Tell us a bit about your background and areas of expertise
SVB: I grew up in Belgium, in a small town near the beautiful city of Bruges. There were two aspects that shaped my life. First, my parents owned a photography store. Looking back to how they ran their business, I realized that they were obsessed with their customers. During our lunches and dinners, they were always talking about what they could do better. Back then, I thought that was natural behavior for business owners. It was only later that I discovered how well they performed. So, the idea of customer experience was almost injected into my DNA by observing them throughout my childhood.
The second thing is that thanks to my aunt and uncle who live in the Bay Area near San Francisco, I was lucky enough to spend almost all my summers as a teenager with them. I really enjoyed it and had the time of my life. On top of that, I started to discover the positive mindset of Silicon Valley and the businesses out there. This increased my interest in technology, which led me to become a technology optimist. And today, I talk and write about the future of customer experience, combining these two elements from my youth.
Thinkers360: What are your current responsibilities and what’s a typical day look like?
SVB: My passion is creating and sharing ideas about the future of customer experience. That is my 100% focus every day. I spend time on my research, time on creating content and time on sharing content. My most important content sharing platforms are my keynotes, my books, YouTube, my blog and my Instagram. Most of my days are filled with giving keynote presentations around the (virtual) world and being involved in interviews, podcasts and preparation time for future work.
Thinkers360: What’s the favorite part of your current role?
SVB: No doubt about that: my favorite part is being on stage in front of a live audience. There is nothing that can beat that. The energy that I get from that is just amazing. I can share inspiration, but I get inspiration back right away. That positive energy transfer between humans is something I just love.
Thinkers360: How do you utilize Thinkers360?
SVB: I use Thinkers 360 as a platform to share my content to a broader audience and to discover content of other thought leaders in my domain.
Editor’s Note: See Steven’s Thinkers360 In-Depth Profile & Portfolio.
Thinkers360: How do you like to work with brands who wish to engage you as a thought leader?
SVB: If brands are looking for inspiration about customer experience, they can always engage with me. My preferred role is to kick start strategy sessions or to inspire large groups of employees to create more urgency around customer experience.
Thinkers360: What’s your main advice for upcoming thought leaders?
SVB: Be very clear about your focus area. Make sure people know what you stand for and for which domains they should reach out to you. Be very consistent in your content creation and be patient. It takes a while before you reach a certain audience, there is no real short cut to success. So staying focused and not losing faith is crucial.
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