Jan Heyens

Jan Heyens

Experience Architect

My story

  • I am 51 years old, live in Schoten (Antwerp) and have 2 daughters at university.
  • My thing is thinking from the customer journey, the customer experience. That is really my specialty.
  • I enjoy facilitating workshops, inspiring and connecting groups.
  • I am passionate about how digital is creating new business models and how this evolution requires a different form of leadership.
  • I was in charge of a digital marketing agency (Invisible Puppy) for several years. Before that I had various roles as director of digital transformation in larger companies.
  • I identify very strongly with the customer's business. I have to be convinced myself. I can't work on something I don't believe in. If it interests me, I have loads of energy and passion, then I immediately see many opportunities to strengthen the business model. I like to be able to think along about the core of the company.
  • I consider myself a “sherpa”, who starts the journey together with the climbers. In the beginning we agree on a number of basic rules, I show the way and regularly check: how much support do you need, how fast do you want to go? The climbers climb along themselves, they are not in a baby carrier.
  • I like working with SMEs and family businesses. I notice that they think in the longer term, they want to leave something for their children. Many SMEs come from a “command and control” culture and are now making the click, giving them freedom.
  • I strongly believe in independent advice. If you believe the story of the vendors, then you buy their tool and all your problems are solved. It's not that simple. The tool is only 40% of the success. How the organization embraces and implements the tool is the most important factor.
  • “Show me the money” is a title that my employees gave me. In a sea of possibilities you have to be able to demonstrate that what you do pays off. That can be an improved customer experience, lower costs, less risk or more returns. But somehow you have to be able to translate that into numbers, I want results for my customers.
  • I like to be vulnerable, I dare to say which mistakes I have made, what my strengths and weaknesses are. I appreciate open feedback.
  • As I get older I notice that I evolve more and more towards “mentoring”, helping people to grow. I think those human values are very important. At an SME you also have a greater chance that the values on the wall are also experienced on the floor.
"Everything starts with the customer. As a company, you need to have a good idea of what experience you want to offer the customer and how it is better than that of your competitor. Your goal should be for your customers to say “I would be sad if (your company) were to disappear because …… (your USPs). If not, you are a supplier that is perfectly interchangeable”

Olivier Mangelschots:

Jan is someone who throws himself completely into a business/client. He is calm and a good listener, he reads a lot and works his way up. Then he makes a sharp analysis and dares to question the status quo. He comes with smart ideas to take the business model and customer experience to the next level. Great! A quote that typifies him: "courageous and inquisitive people, they will take you far!"

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