“Why did a Hotelschool graduate end up in the fuel delivery business?” It is a good question. I must admit, I never thought of it either. I found out that the similarities are actually striking!
First of all, the essence of hospitality management is running a business with your customer in mind at all times. That is exactly what I am doing at Shell TapUp: thinking about new ways to solve customer frictions and enlighten their days. Our motto is to create a seamless customer experience. Every day we think about how we can minimize customer effort even more and how we can support their businesses even better.
Understand your business
Secondly, at Hotelschool I enjoyed a lot of practical education. The idea is that you cannot manage people in a position or activities that you have not performed yourself. You will never ask your team to clean a room in 8 minutes, if you spend 20 minutes doing it yourself.
With that idea in mind I followed every training possible, and studied long hours to obtain our certificates to become service champion (driver) of our own vehicles. I am very proud to be the first female driver at Shell TapUp, but I also feel that I understand the responsibilities and wishes of our service champions much better.
Happy employees, happy customers
Thirdly, hospitality works two ways: towards the customers and towards your own people. Happy employees, happy guests! The better you enable (or service) your own people to do their work, the more they can emit that service mindset towards your customers. That is why I tell our developers from my own experience: “When you design our app, keep in mind that someone is using that app in the rain or at -5 degrees. Every unnecessary step is one too many.”
Understanding customer frictions and your product or service are crucial for building any successful business. However, the challenge is to not get too caught up in the operation. You need to find the right people that can do that, so that you can continue building the business and add new customers and new services for those customers. You should not be drafting all those beers yourself, but find a good bartender that runs the bar smoothly.
We now have a great team of certified service champions (and service champions to be) that serve our customers on a daily basis. However I must admit, I sometimes miss my shifts on the vehicle and if I want to lead the customer experience, I should lead it by example.
I learn something about creating the ultimate customer experience every day. Do you have more tips, interesting articles or even an inspiring contact person for me? Let me know!
Do you want to learn more about working at a corporate start-up and life at Shell TapUp? Our #3 episode will be by Milena Grul, our CMO! Stay tuned by following us!