Five questions for Mona Abbasi
Polestar Chief Experience Officer Mona Abbasi on people, the customer experience, and making the impossible, possible.
How does the reality of your job compare with what people think you do?
Maybe it’s a bit less glamorous. I commute by train every week to get to Gothenburg, leaving behind my family in Stockholm, to do something I truly believe in, with people who make a difference. My days are often quite varied, with everything from complex and costly long-term decisions related to the choice of systems and partnership agreements, to escalated one-on-one customer conversations. At the end of the day, my job is about effectively removing obstacles, enabling others (our front-line staff, partners, and internal team members) to deliver a seamless and engaging Polestar customer experience.
What is the best part of your job?
The people, the people, and (yes, you guessed it) the people. Every day I wake up feeling privileged and happy to create and solve with other Polestars. I love the way we work together to make the impossible possible, by focusing on what really matters.
What has happened or changed in your area of work over the last 10 years?
For one, customer-centric strategies have become a focal point for many organizations which had previously built their strategies on commercial or product centric-outcomes alone. It’s both a strategic shift and a shift in mindset.
The willingness to make decisions grounded in customer insights has grown considerably, with many businesses realizing the enormous impact the voice of the customer has on the commercial success of its business, and the strength of its brand. Using rich customer feedback to develop or improve engagement strategies across the customer journey is more expected today.
Digital as an enabler of strategy has forever changed the way we capture insights and data, deliver stand-out and relevant experiences, automate manual tasks, and increase our speed of engagement. It’s also at the core of the omni-channel experience, enabling seamless integration between channels and touchpoints. The role of digital in the success of CX has grown tremendously.
What job would you like to have, if you didn't have this one?
Hmm, there are so many jobs that I think would be both fun and interesting. But perhaps I’d choose to work as a plaintiff’s counsel (a lawyer that represents a victim), as I think it would be very meaningful and that I, hopefully, could add some value there. It all boils down to me using my voice and skills to represent those that need support while navigating a complex situation.
What makes you hopeful for the future?
Humans. The power of people coming together to create new and better ways of working with what they truly believe in. People who stand up for what is right and not necessarily easy
Design Fest Ghent: caramel, corn, and circular creations
When visiting Ghent this spring, one may have caught the smell of caramel, sugar cane, and corn. Especially around Brabantdam 31. Not because the circus was in town, but because of another event. Design Fest Ghent, a new biennial design festival, showcases ground-breaking designs and sustainable innovations. Like the sweet-smelling, circular creation BreaZea.