NIU Perspectives is a series that explores behind-the-scenes at NIU through the eyes of our staff.
Astrid joined NIU in July 2019 as International Customer Service Manager. We chatted with her to learn more about how she supports our riders around the world and what she does to unwind in her free time.
Please introduce yourself to our audience.
My name is Astrid and I’m from Ieper, Belgium! I have been the International Customer Service Manager at NIU for over two years. I lead our customer service team and take care of requests from our NIU Club users, as well as inquiries from our NIU distributors, dealers, and partners.
Overseeing the technical training academy for our dealers is also an integral part of my job. Our local stores use this information to pass on excellent service experiences to our customers.
As for my background, I studied Intercultural Relations Management at university, which focuses on office management across languages and cultures. Even before I began my studies, I knew from an early age that I wanted to travel and live abroad among other cultures. After a brief internship in Spain, I came back to Belgium and decided to travel around Europe, Asia, and North America.
How did you discover NIU?
Before I joined as NIU staff, I first learned about the company when their electric scooters began appearing in the city where I live. They were revolutionary vehicles, with a small, easily-removable battery. I was really intrigued by removing the battery and charging inside, since I lived in an apartment and that was a really convenient way to keep it topped up.
My first chance to ride a NIU consistently was when my friend moved abroad for business and let me “scooter-sit” for them. Now it’s a part of my everyday commute! I even love driving around the city with no specific destination in mind. I find it very relaxing.
Two years after I first discovered NIU, I was looking for way to improve my career and had the chance to join the company. I was excited to work in the EV industry and I liked NIU products, so it was a great opportunity for me!
What is your favorite part about working at NIU?
I really enjoy helping our users get the answers they need, and also receiving their feedback on our products. I find it very fulfilling to improve the resources available to our riders, such as our product knowledge base.
NIU also has the environment of a start-up and structure of a larger corporation. There is a lot of flexibility to choose your own path and work on projects you’re passionate about, while still providing a solid organizational structure and resources. Here at NIU, you’re free to realize your own project ideas, and I really appreciate that.
What does the future of customer service look like at NIU?
A major focus for us moving forward is ensuring our riders get the answers they need very quickly. We want to automate part of this process, while still providing a “human” experience. We know that people still want a human touch; that is something that is unlikely to change in customer service anytime soon. Our goal is to find a balance of providing personal service at robot speed, which we are working towards.
We are also trying to improve the support channels available to our local dealers, which then will pass on a better experience to our users. We hope to reach a point where our riders receive a totally consistent experience in all of our stores around the world.
How do you recharge your personal battery?
My favorite hobby, by far, is dancing. I focus mainly on contemporary dance, and also ballet. I have been practicing dance for four years; it really helps with stress relief and it’s a lot of fun. I also spend a lot of time at the gym exercising.
Dancing certainly helps me recharge my battery, but I also love exploring the city or nature. It helps me to have a creative outlet too. I really enjoy painting, drawing, and coloring. Recently, I’ve been intrigued by crochet, which I find very therapeutic. When I’m doing arts or crafts with my hands, I can really forget my stress and fully decompress.
How do you #MakeLifeElectric?
At the beginning of 2021, I set goals for myself that can give me inspiration as the year goes on.
Some goals I have are to reduce my plastic waste, bring my own reusable shopping bags to the store, and find more sustainable product alternatives in my everyday life. I also challenge myself to be more active and go outdoors more frequently.
These challenges help me to #MakeLifeElectric one small step at a time!
Favorite NIU model? MQi+ Sport, because it’s cute! Especially in red.
Your scooter’s name? Daan. I named it after a friend of mine.
Go-to comfort food? Pizza. Anything with a lot of cheese.
Favorite genre of music? Pop music. I can enjoy whatever though. Oasis was a favorite band of mine.
Top travel destination? I’ve been to Laos and I was taken aback with how beautiful the nature was.
Perfect Sunday? Firstly, sleeping in. Then having a nice healthy breakfast. Then some dance classes. Followed by some proper self-care and relaxation. Finally, cooking my own dinner and, of course, watching some Friends, too.
Thank you for joining us for another NIU Perspectives interview.
We will continue to introduce other NIU staff in the future, so be sure to check back soon!