In her bi-monthly column ’Danijela on the move’, our veteran traveler Danijela (International Business Development Manager at Legalsense) shares her experiences and adventures beyond the Dutch borders. In November she visited Sweden together with her colleagues Johan and Bram. ‘Finally, we were able to travel again! So special how impressive shaking hands can be.’

A wonderful start
Every time I enter the center of Stockholm, the city of islands and bridges, I am overwhelmed by its beautiful setting. The historic buildings, the well-kept green spaces, the sea. We were very lucky to stay in a hotel on Nybroviken (literally ”new bridge bay”). From here you have a beautiful look at Östermalm and the bay with its many boats sailing back and forth. What a great start to this trip! After enjoying a wonderful view from the hotel terrasse, it was time for what we had come for: visit our customers and meet potential new customers. The day and evening program was jam-packed with appointments, after all.

For the first time in almost two years, we had the opportunity to meet with our customers in their offices and to talk to them in person. At that very moment, I realized how much I had missed that.

At the table with our users
The primary reason for this trip was a training session that Bram was going to do at one of our clients, a large law firm in the heart of Stockholm. Nothing is more insightful than attending a user training session. This is where the most critical user questions and the most practical needs come to light.

Of course, we also host online trainings, and in some cases with very knowledgeable customers, a training is not even necessary. Nevertheless, we see great added value in face-to-face sessions and definitely a win-win situation for our customers and for us. Our customers have a specialist on site who can answer any questions, pass on tips and tricks, and even tweak details in the software to make it even better suited to the daily needs of the users. This ensures that our software is even better received.

And what about our win? We greatly value the feedback from our customers about their experience with our software, both in terms of benefits and improvements. It also helps us conceive and develop new features that might be particularly useful to our users. Feedback from those who use Legalsense every day is essential for further improving what we do best: an easy-to-use and cloud-based solution for optimal timekeeping and uncomplicated invoicing, designed specifically for the legal profession.

Formal or informal?
After my return, I was asked by my colleagues about the business culture in Sweden. Are the Swedes rigid and hierarchical? We always found a very friendly atmosphere and very nice customers. What struck me was the very open communication. Our users were very forthcoming when it came to expressing their opinions and sharing their ideas and suggestions with us. This is something that helps us a lot to improve even more than we already do. Two other things caught my attention during our visit: No one was wearing a face mask, and everyone was (still) shaking hands. Two years ago, something like this wouldn’t even have been worth mentioning because it was such a given in our everyday business lives, but it felt quite extraordinary, even more so when you are in a profession where personal contact is paramount!’

Altogether, it was a wonderful business trip. After working from home in the Netherlands for almost two years, it was very refreshing to see how relaxed the Swedes are with each other. After long time, we had the opportunity to meet customers and new potential customers back in their offices and talk to them personally. I sincerely missed that. And I was not the only one, I saw that with my colleagues Johan and Bram as well. We are already looking forward to visiting Sweden again very soon!