Femke Lans is a customer experience specialist and the founder of Dear Customer, consulting hospitality, retail and health care businesses in Amsterdam on increasing the human impact in a customer experience.

What path has your career taken?

I think kindness and human interaction has always led the way. After finishing my studies in communication science, I worked for KLM, first as an attendant and then as a trainer.

Then, I worked for blooming, a training company in Bergen. I worked on several training programs there concerning teamwork and leadership and later on I had the opportunity to lead the company myself when I became general manager. After 7 years I founded my company, Dear Customer, because I believe we need some more kindness in the world and this is a key element for successful companies.

What brought you/brings you/keeps you in Amsterdam?

I just love the city. There are 1000 things to do every day and I love the diversity of the city. I frequently run into this man, wearing only a g-string, who travels around on his inline skates. I love that we have the freedom in Amsterdam to just do the thing that suits you.

How long have you stayed/worked/been at Zoku?

Dear Customer and I have been part of Zoku since the beginning. I was involved in the creation of the customer experience design and the translation to the HR strategy. And I really think we have created a place where people feel at home. Not only the residents and members, but also the people that work for Zoku. It’s really a family. Without a doubt it is the project I did I am most proud of.

What advice would you give to your 20 year old self?

That you are not alone with your thoughts, issues and problems. That there are people out there with exactly the same fears and questions and that sharing them is the key.

What’s a life-changing book, song, film or event you’d like to recommend to others?

The Five Invitations by Frank Ostaseski. He sat on the bedside of the dying for more than 35 years and shares his experiences and wisdom – not especially about the dying process, but about how to live your life fully. Just last year I participated in a training program by Frank around this subject. It was one of the best learning experiences ever. Death is maybe not the most common source of wisdom, but it is a powerful one. And next to that, I would recommend people to do volunteer work. I work in a hospice in Amsterdam and it fills me with so much gratitude and joy. It is a nice way to take care of others and contribute to our society.