Meet Kirsten Den Elzen
Introducing our international project manager
While SaaS platforms have certainly revolutionised the way that business is conducted, their greatest downfall is that users are often left to fend for themselves after they have signed up to the service in question. Crowdtech’s proactive solution to this has been to create a Hybrid SaaS model which provides human support to users, while simultaneously allowing them the freedom to operate our platform independently.
Ready to lend a helping hand
To this end we assign project managers to all our clients and jobs, who provide a human interface between our clients and our technology.
Kirsten den Elzen, International Project Manager and Technical Consultant, plays this role. Managing many of our international projects and clients, den Elzen is the link between the technical development team, our clients and our surveys, panel and communities.
‘In the past, clients used to outsource entire market research projects to agencies’, explains den Elzen. ‘Then SaaS systems started making it possible for them to conduct some of the technical side of research on their own. But people are still finding that they need a little help here or there - and that’s where I come in. They like to have a technical team that they can contact… we’re here for our clients and always ready to help.’
One role: Many tasks
Den Elzen’s job is multi-faceted, spanning client training, technical support, project management and developer liaison.
On the client training side, den Elzen carries out multiple Client training sessions. In terms of technical support, she oversees the Client helpdesk. Project management encompasses all the details of preparing projects for launch, while developer liaison involves a ‘translation’ of sorts between this team and clients.
“One of my roles is to liaise with the client regarding their project requirements’, she explains. ‘I then feed their needs back to the internal team. I engage with our developers to understand exactly what is possible from a technical perspective. Sometimes what seems like a tiny change on the front end of the platform, will require a massive upheaval behind the scenes. In such cases we need to assess how best to fulfil client wishes in a way that makes the most logistical sense.’
Different clients, different requirements
Different clients require different solutions. At Crowdtech we work with three types of clients: On the one extreme are those who choose to run their panels or communities entirely on their own, and on the other side are those who require a full-service model. For this, we bring in our sister company of researchers and analysts, MWM2.
However, the majority of our clients sit within the Hybrid SaaS space, meaning that they run their own panels and communities with varying degrees of requirements for help from our team.
Meeting clients where they are
‘I try to meet each client where they are,’ explains den Elzen. ‘I am in constant contact with them and try to have a really thorough understanding of each client’s diverse needs. Of course, I’m not the product owner so I need to liaise with our dev team about each requirement. But where possible I do what I can to try to make them happen!’
Den Elzen describes how varied her client requests can be. For example, when it comes to the look-and-feel of a panel or community, she liaises with a full range of clients – from those who engage their marketing teams and get extremely involved in the design of each community element, to those who prefer to outsource this entirely to Crowdtech.
Working with mostly market researchers and marketers, Crowdtech’s international client liaison spans an array of countries and cultures. It also spans industries, including a range of commercial sectors and also some non-commercial ones, such as higher education institutes.
Agility has of course become a popular topic in business, which has been heightened since the advent of Covid-19. Den Elzen confirms that, at Crowdtech, the company’s agility is more than simply lip-service: ‘Crowdtech is constantly evolving. It doesn’t claim to be an agile company: it actually is one. If we need to change something, I have the autonomy to do exactly that. To me, this is true agility.’
‘I love my job’, concludes den Elzen enthusiastically. ‘I love my clients too – as varied and diverse as they might be. I always look forward to what my next project and challenge might hold.’
To speak to Kirsten den Elzen or find out more about our international offerings and project management, please do get in touch.