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Nathalie Schooling | Founder & MD of N’Lighten
An experienced strategist, trainer and customer experience improvement specialist, Nathalie has more than 25 years’ experience in the customer service industry.
Nathalie’s commitment to enabling her clients to deliver service excellence, coupled with her insight into the vital role that exceptional service has to play in ensuring the lasting success of any company, allows Nathalie to work with her clients in developing a vision of client service excellence, and then transforming that vision into reality.
My Definition Of Success | In my past corporate life – success meant a promotion, it meant commission, pay increases, recognition from my bosses and it meant happy clients, happy staff (permanent and temporary staff).
When I started N’lighten 10 years ago, success meant being able to pay the bills, and to get clients to buy into the concept of putting customers at the heart of their business in order to reap the financial rewards.
Today, success is seeing my team members flourish in their careers at N’lighten, to have our business grow because our clients really can see the difference that great client experiences have on their business as a whole. As our business has grown over the past decade, we now place more emphasis on taking our business offering to the next level for our clients and determining what we can do to “wow” them, rather than being focused on the bottom line, as one needs to be when building a business.
I Am Driven By | The fear of failure, passion for what my company does and the people I work with and spend most of my life with i.e. my clients (we have some awesome clients) and my team-mates.
A Key Talent | Being very aware of my personal brand, from when I first started out in my career up until the present, i.e. my reputation. It was more intuitive as opposed to something someone told me to focus on. It might be an overworked statement but I believe that first impressions do count. You need to be well groomed, confident, have a firm handshake, remember people’s names, look people in the eye when greeting them, meet deadlines, call back when you say you are going to, and reply to emails promptly. These are all small things we know we should do but it’s about actually doing them and doing them all the time. Remember, your reputation is everything and follows you around for life.
Principles I Live By |
- Always treat others as you would want to be treated. Everyone needs to feel special and heard.
- Always be authentic as people will quickly pick up if you are fake or false.
- Take what you do seriously but you must be able to laugh at yourself.
The Characteristics Of Success | Networking and building solid, long lasting relationships.
Lessons I Have Learnt |
- Luck does happen – through perseverance.
- Always try to surround yourself with positive people.
- Always keep the saw sharp – make sure that you are constantly learning new things or attempting things that you have not done before.
Dealing With Doubt | I don’t think you are normal if you don’t have self-doubt at certain times. We are only human and have fears or think negative thoughts but you need find ways of controlling them. I attended a mind power course 10 years ago and still use the principles in my life today. As soon as I have negative thoughts, I have to make a conscious effort to change the dialogue in my head. If that doesn’t work, then I reach for one of the many books I read to help with rebooting.
Performing At My Peak | You need to maintain a balance between work, family and “me” time, which is always tough but I find the more stress I’m under, the more important it is for me to find time to exercise – do yoga, go jogging or to the gym.
The Best Advice I’ve Received | The only time one grows as a person is when you are out of your comfort zone! If you are “comfortable” then it’s a warning.
I Am Inspired By |
- Young South Africans who, against all odds, have succeeded. For example: Siyabulela Xuza.
- Strong women who lead with integrity. For example: Thuli Madonsela.
- Internationally – people such as Simon Sinek and Sheryl Sandberg.
Useful Links |