Remote working can set the level of performance even higher than before for service providers. Kristina Nikova explained the importance of excellence in today’s era and changing customer needs. Kristina, who works as Services Sales and Delivery Manager at Softline CEE, also emphasized the skillsets required of a trusted partner in the long term. Get to know the details from the interview.
What is your role at Softline?
Being a Services Sales and Delivery Manager makes every day different, and that really inspires me. I am a project manager, so part of my daily tasks is to follow projects and talk to customers and engineers. Then, I’m responsible for delivery, which is about creating processes based on excellence and reaching our company targets. The selling part of my job means managing the pre-sales process and preparing technical proposals for clients. There are no daily routines that suit me particularly well, as I need new challenges every day.
I consider myself lucky, as I am surrounded by amazing people from whom I can learn something new every day. But they also rely on me to do my job at the highest level possible. I know I should always do my best in each project, which can be as challenging as it is motivating.
You keep in touch with many people during your work. How does remote work affect you?
The way of carrying tasks out has changed significantly with online communication. It is definitely a challenge for me, as I prefer face-to-face communication. Through a screen and a headset, it can be difficult to convey any non-verbal communication for example your energy or body language, which can support your thoughts. Ultimately, it sets the level of performance even higher than before. We must reach excellence in everything we do in order to remain the credible and professional partner that our clients need. I believe that this is the only way of working in the remote world.
In which area do clients rely on Softline the most?
Consultation and advisory services are required in greater numbers than before. especially when companies are planning to improve their IT infrastructure. As the vendor solutions are evolving rapidly, and new features and solutions are launched every day, our customers need advice on what would best fit their needs. Following the consultation and planning, we are usually involved in the implementation and roll-out of the projects, and we even support our clients in the adoption and change management after major changes.
Overall, I feel our region has become more open to services. As IT is not the core business for most enterprises, they come to us when they are looking for experience and knowledge that they don’t invest in. Businesses aim to reduce the risk of failure by involving an experienced partner who can advise based on market knowledge and best practices.
How do you handle changing customer behaviors?
Adapting to change can be mentally and technically difficult for any company. In our experience, customers need to rely on trustworthy and experienced partners even more than before. In order to maintain customer satisfaction even in the online world, we have to address all the topics of a project thoroughly, and anticipate the follow-up questions customers might ask, given the changing business environment. Our commitment to their projects must be combined with first-rate delivery, including adoption and support, so they can benefit from tailor-made and comprehensive solutions.
How do you relax after a challenging task?
For me, the beach is the place to go if I want to relax and unwind. I love the sea and snorkeling; it’s another world that’s worth seeing. I also enjoy gardening at our family summer house. Stepping on the soil of our garden makes me feel relieved and helps me to disconnect from the digital world.
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