Meet Joeri, our product owner

Just like many others, we started 2016 with some New Year’s resolutions. We want to expand on our product and make it even more intelligent. Our VP Product, Joeri Pansaerts puts the money where the mouth is. Last Friday (12th of April) he left for New York for an intensive data science boot camp, where he’s learning from and mingling with the best of Facebook, Microsoft and Google. That knowledge will allow us to start looking for deeper patterns in customer data and start elaborating new methods.

Joeri Pansaerts

With Joeri’s devotion and passion we’re convinced our customers will be amazed with the roll out of these intelligencia! Right before he took off to the city that never sleeps, we had a short fireside chat.

How did you end up here?

I founded Hello Customer together with Leslie and Bram as a sort of spin out from our previous digital agency. From those earlier years working together with c-levels in companies, we learned that lots of them didn’t truly know their customers and had lost touch with the actual forefront of interacting with their customers. Yet this is exactly where decisions are taken and we felt a sort of unease among our customers. We felt they needed and wanted to gain more insight. There are great tools out there, but often so difficult to use and still leaves so much work for the companies. So we built a tool ourselves. One that’s super-easy and fast to set up and takes all the surveying, analyzing and reporting out the hands of the companies.

How does a day look like for a Product Owner?

Every day is different for me. I’m not the kind of guy that works in structures. I don’t have a certain schedule that I follow each day: come in, check my mail, start doing A, continue working on B, solve problem C, finish doing B. That’s just not me. I’m more the guy that conceptualizes structures for other people.

So how does my day look like? That really depends. Right now I’m quite busy preparing myself for the bootcamp in New York. It’s a really intensive course for specialists, so I need to catch up. That’s why I took several online courses already. Apart from that, I just take the day as it comes. When a customer calls because something doesn’t work, I look into it immediately. I continuously gather feedback from my colleagues at customer success, sales and marketing to brainstorm about the future of our product. And I’ve started planning a new and very ambitious version of Hello Customer. It’s going to be amazing!

Who is Joeri?

I’m an adventurous person, who’s always looking for new challenges. I don’t like a job for which I need to sit at a desk all day. A job for me needs to be challenging. What I need is training programs, learning new stuff everyday and most importantly: new challenges. When a colleague comes to me with a technical problem and I can find a solution, that really motivates me.

Efficiency and structure is important to me. When you’re working on a certain project with a big or even a small team, it’s important that everybody knows what they need to do. It’s impossible to just start working on something without having a plan or a structure. Imagine building a house without a foundation or a plan. Creating a structured plan before you start working on a project will help you to accomplish the best result.

And when you’re not at the office?

My obsession for efficiency also translates itself to my private life. When I buy something new, I need to be sure that the entire system is going to work. And preferably, it’s one system for everything. I’ll always be looking for the best product on the market.

In the evening, after a long working day, I can really enjoy watching brainless tv shows like temptation island. It’s so funny. Right now I’m also watching a docu-series on an experiment in which people who’ve never met get married. They have been matched using algorithms and assisted by scientists. Really got my attention! It’s great and honest television and it really relaxes me.

Other things that can really amuse me. Hmm, Oh! When someone tells me how big of a fan they are for a certain football team, and they have an important game to play or watch. I am the kind of person that will wear a shirt with the color of the opposite team. Just to tease them.

So New York, cool! What will you be doing there?

A product like ours can never stand still. We always need to improve. Our platform needs to be adjusted at all times and we need to keep coming with new features and versions much in line with wat our customers need. That’s why I’m going to participate in a bootcamp about data science. The idea is to create a system that can recognize patterns using pure statistics in order to work on new methods.

Joeri in New York!

Statistical what?!

Statistical significance. Actually that’s pure statistics. With statistical significance we can prove that a certain correlation isn’t based on a coincidence.

Compare it to what Netflix does: you watch a certain show and get recommendations for shows that could interest you. How does Netflix know that? Well it’s simple. The show you watch is in a specific category: it has a certain genre, a certain price, a certain evaluation, … . Netflix will look at other people that watched the same show and compare it with other shows they’ve watched that are in the same categories. The shows that match the shows that you’ve watched in the past (or are watching now) will appear in the list These shows might also interest you.

What will that mean for Hello Customer?

Well, we’re not going to watch Netflix all day, that’s for sure. ;-) I used Netflix to explain it because it’s a simple application. What we want to do with it is a bit more complex.

With our current Hello Customer Platform we apply text analysis to open feedback. The limitation today is — like in most text analysis engines — that it only runs analysis for certain groups of words and in an isolated way. We’d like to take a look at the context too. Merge it with customer data, bring out even more than we do today. Sometimes the context is more important than a group of words.

Next to that, we’d like to know if there’s statistical significance between the NPS question and the products someone bought. More specifically we’d like to find out if we can find a relation between the age, gender or products someone bought and the score that they’ve given. This could provide really interesting information. For example: All women between the age of 20 and 30 that buy red pants at the Happy Fashion store in Paris give an NPS score of 4. Without knowing the age, gender or buying information, Happy Fashion would only know that their store doesn’t perform well. When our platform allows them to compare the scores with pre-defined variables, it can provide interesting and actionable insights.

What’s so great about working at Hello Customer?

Every day is different. I don’t need to sit at my desk all day. I have the opportunity to keep on learning. I attend courses abroad (my trip to New York for example) or I train other people to work as efficiently as possible. And after my trip to New York I leave for Barcelona immediately for another project.

We’re a small team so we all know each other and we can really have fun.

Care to join Joeri and his team? You’re in luck. We have some job-openings. Check them out!