Feb 18, 2021

Interview with Premium Plus CEO Kurt Pinoy

Great customer service takes time, effort and often an army of agents to implement! Fortunately, tools like Zendesk make it much easier for businesses to get started with a more organised workflow. Join us as we discuss all things CX with Kurt Pinoy, CEO of Premium Plus, a master Zendesk implementation partner!

kurt pinoy premium plus ceo
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Hello Kurt, thanks for joining us today! Could you please start with a brief about yourself and the company's background - what should our readers know about you?

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    Kurt:

    Glad to be speaking with you! Before I started Premium Plus, I was the head of a facility management company. In my role as a CEO, my main focus was customer & employee experience. In 2012, one of the companies I worked for had a need for internal communications, but they didn’t have the right tools. So I started looking for a solution, and that way I got to know the Zendesk portfolio. I helped that customer out by implementing specific Zendesk solutions, and that’s how I became a real believer.


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That's a great start. What are the main services that Premium Plus provides today?

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    Kurt:

    At Premium Plus, we believe that the tools aren’t the key differentiator, but the way you use them. That’s where we come in. Customer experience is our core business and we believe that great service is at the heart of it. So listening to our customers is our main service.

    When a customer comes to us with a project, we listen, learn and gauge. Afterwards, we set up the right tools, integrate them, and train their people to have better conversations with their employees and customers.


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So, how did Premium Plus become Zendesk's Master Implementation Partner?

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    Kurt:

    In 2012, I used Zendesk to help the organisation I worked with then, deal with some internal communications challenges. Next, the initiative piqued Nike’s interest and we started a project with them as well. So I started looking into becoming a Zendesk reseller. Fast-forward a couple of years, I sold all the other companies I had and directed all my efforts into Premium Plus. Today, our focus is on selling and integrating the Zendesk Portfolio. Recently, we even won the Global Zendesk Partner of the Year Award, which was a big milestone for us.



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Congratulations, that's a great achievement! What did you appreciate most about the Zendesk tools you worked with?

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    Kurt:

    Zendesk tools are not built for companies, but for their employees and customers. This people-first philosophy instantly synced with my approach to business, so I started implementing Zendesk projects regularly. Slowly but surely, I pivoted my entire organisation towards software integration, with a sharp focus on Zendesk. And that’s how I started Premium Plus.


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Could you tell a little more about what your current role as CEO at Premium Plus entails?

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    Kurt:

    As a CEO, my main role is to help my people help our customers. It’s not about me, it’s all about the people.


    premium plus ceo


    To outline the bigger picture a bit, our organisational chart is an inverted pyramid. At the top, there’s the customer. Next, there are our employees, and at the very bottom, there’s me, the CEO. This inverted pyramid reflects the way we work with our customers. We listen to them and act quickly to guide them to the best possible customer experience.


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    Ruju:

    We couldn’t agree with you more – it’s important to give due importance to customers and you seem to be doing just that!


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At the moment, what key metrics do you look out for on a regular basis to measure the impact on your customers.

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    Kurt:

    For me personally, it’s all about communication. As a CEO, I keep track of our customers’ reactions when a project is finished, and I always follow up to make sure we can close the project to their satisfaction.


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    For our customers, we have defined a set of key metrics to measure customer satisfaction. In fact, Premium Plus is one of the only companies that build specialised metrics dashboards for customers, so they can measure the impact of our solutions. We focus on the customer satisfaction ratio, which is the percentage of tickets that are rated as ‘good’ from the total amount of tickets. In addition, we also look at the median first reply time, the percentage of one-touch tickets, the chat completion rate and so on.


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You mentioned something essential - communication. What are your thoughts/guidance on providing multilingual customer support?

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    Kurt:

    Premium Plus is based in Belgium, a multilingual country. For that reason, the companies we work with on a daily basis have the habit of helping customers out in their mother tongue. Whether it’s a small start-up or a big corporation, our companies attribute value to creating communications in multiple languages. The website and the communications need to be multilingual, and even skill-based routing.


    multilingual customer service


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What are the challenges and your suggested solutions to switching to multilingual customer service?

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    Kurt:

    Today, English is the lingua franca, so a lot of solutions and apps focus on English first. However, we believe that companies need to provide support in different languages. Fortunately, Zendesk offers this capability and there are several apps and integrations like that Translate By Humans app for Zendesk that helps provide customer service in 60+ languages!


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Absolutely, Zendesk is a great tool to support multilingual teams and customers. When you help with implementation, how do you train multilingual teams? What advice do you have for them?

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    Kurt:

    As an integration company, we provide training specifically targeted at the usage of the tools we sell. We provide a standard template in the different languages they use and show them how they can collaborate successfully.


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Accordingly to you, what's the next big thing in CX?

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    Kurt:

    The importance of top-notch digital customer service will only grow stronger. Since the COVID pandemic, digitalisation has finally reached the masses. Now, we’re experiencing a massive maturing of the market.


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    Ruju:

    Well Kurt, thanks for helping us get to know Premium Plus a little better and for sharing your insights on customer support.


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    Kurt:

    It’s been my pleasure!


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Ruju Patel

Ruju Patel

Ruju Patel is a Content Marketing Specialist and the former Content Manager at Translate By Humans. She has a background in Psychology and Business and previous experience as an HR professional. She is a people’s person and a pro at drafting contracts, policies, and articles.

When she’s not creating digital marketing strategies, you’ll find her reading with her cats or combining her love for food and culture by traveling around the world!

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