A little more about me

Hey, thanks for visiting, I’m Stefan Dyke, the founder of SLHE Consulting.

My goal is to help businesses, big and small, across New Zealand (and the world), deliver exceptional experiences to their customers by leveraging digital services and technology, and empowering them with tools and processes that enable them to "do it themselves" without spending a fortune on external agencies.

A word of warning though, I'm not aspiring to be a UX Guru or "thought leader" who makes pithy proclamations on LinkedIn about the state of the industry or how UX has gone wrong. I don't have a UX degree or Ph.D in "whatever sounds the most impressive", nor am I going to insist that you do it "my way, or the highway"... so if that's what you're after then it's best you move along.

The early days...

I've always had a passion for technology, having grown up tinkering with the family computer (Commodore 64 anyone?) and generally figuring out how things work. In the early days of "the internet", you pretty much had to be your own tech support person in order to ensure that things were always running smoothly and it's fair to say that as the world learned about these things, then so did I... even starting my IT career out as a systems engineer (MCSE) before moving into more creative avenues.

It wasn't exactly a clear path into the field either, having gone to University with ideas of becoming an accountant, before realising that was a terrible idea (for me, there's nothing wrong with accountants) and ending up working as a dealer at the newly opened Sky City Casino (8pm - 4am, the "swing" shift). Thankfully, a couple of the right conversations later, I found my path into a more technology focused future... although I do wonder just where I could have ended up if I'd stayed at the casino.

In any case, I quickly discovered a knack for "figuring shit out", whether that was while I was managing a network for an insurance company, building custom Excel documents for sales people in the photocopier business, or working out exactly how to build a watercraft register for the local council (when someone asked if I could do it I just said "yes" and figured I'd work it out later).

But it was once I decided to pack my entire life into a backpack and head to the UK that things started to get really interesting...

The "Big OE" and me...

It as in the UK that things started to really click from an "experience perspective" both personally and professionally. After starting out in the Project Management space, I found myself working for an awesome agency in Reading that allowed me to grow into the "User Experience" discipline (at the same time the company itself did) and expose me to some of the biggest projects I would have the chance to work on, when measured both financially and from a "customer impact" perspective.

Those projects then laid the foundation for another 10+ years of working both client and agency side, solving problems and building solutions that made a measurable difference in people's lives. I ultimately moved into freelance roles which gave me some flexibility to pick and choose who I worked with (and gave me a wonderful insight into the UK tax system), as well as provided some longer term financial security as we made our plans for heading home.

And by we, I mean my wife (who travelled to the UK with me originally as my "girlfriend) and our two young children who were born in the UK. Having spent nearly 15 years overseas, we agreed that it was time for our kids to enjoy the kind of childhood that we both had in New Zealand, so we packed everything up into a 20ft container and decided that the Tauranga, in the Bay of Plenty, would be our new home for the foreseeable future.

A Few of the clients I got to work with in the uk

So what does this all mean for you?

Delivering a great customer experience can be the difference between success or failure when it comes to business, whether you're a solopreneur, run an SME, or are responsible for the fortunes of a multi-national business with offices around the world. And technology and digital services have a huge role to play in this success, alongside great processes and integrating the customer into your design and development process.

And that's where I come in. With my broad experience of working with a variety of businesses, both in NZ and overseas, I have the experience to be able to sit down with you and identify opportunities for you to improve how you approach things and what your goals are, so that your customers have a better experience in the long run. Ultimately leading to higher revenues, better customer retention, increased customer satisfaction and greater returns on your investment... if you like that sort of stuff.

The fact is, technology moves pretty fast these days and there are massive opportunities to make small changes or investments that can have a considerable impact on your customer experience. It's also fair to say that keeping up with everything and identifying what actually works (or is relevant to your business) is not something that you may have any interest in, especially if your passion is in the day to day delivery of products or services.

And beyond all of that, there are just some skills that honed after years of experience, and while you can pay an agency or consultant to come in and tell you what to do (or do it for you), that's usually a pretty expensive approach and at the end of the day, all that expertise walks out the door, only returning when you're prepared to cut another cheque. If you're a large business, this may be all well and good, but for smaller business this is not a sustainable business model.

My vision...

I don’t want to be just another supplier.

My goal is to develop long lasting relationships with anybody that I work with and become a trusted partner who can be relied on to provide quality advice and services where they are most needed.

I am not aiming to be a one-stop-shop for all your technology or digital needs. If there is something I can help you with that will make a difference to your business then I will recommend it, however if you are better suited using someone else or you have specific needs that I cannot meet then I will say so.

I too am aiming to build a business that I can be proud of, doing the things that I enjoy (solving complex problems, developing solutions that actually work and helping other businesses grow) and making a difference for others. All of that while being a great husband to my wife and father to my kids, who continue to grow up far too quickly.

Want to learn more or get started?

Simply book a call with me so we can determine if you're a good fit for my programme and then we'll take it from there...
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