Anybody that knows me, either from a personal or professional perspective, will know that monotony in the workplace is a killer for me. That’s the reason why the start-up world is where I enjoy being because monotony is distant – Companies pivot, products change quickly, teams have to grow or shrink faster than elsewhere. This environment of rapid change is where some people, myself included, feel comfortable, and enjoy the quickening pulse when something unexpected happens.
Since 2001 I’ve been growing in the Customer Service environment, and in the service industry in general, since I was 16 (yes, I know it’s almost 30 years ago). Waiter, Steward, Agent and so on… helping and serving people is the only common theme in my professional history. As many of those who have done service in any area at all, it can be tough. Not just the pressure of reliability, productivity, or making everyone happy, which are obviously a core part of any service role, but the divide between the customer and the service staff can be frustrating for both parties, no matter why that divide is there.
In my entire professional history, I’ve often thought of changing roles. How do you approach that though, when your CV is so far from diverse in terms of past positions? What do you apply for, and how do you prepare for an interview with someone, when you’re fully aware you’re not the perfect fit, at least based on your CV? A long time ago, I tried just that. In the 90s a Finnish chain was opening brick and mortar stores for Nokia phones, and I was tired of restaurants and hotels as my workplace. I applied for a sales role, went to the interview, and realized myself within 5 minutes that I was unprepared, that I’m not a salesperson, and that I needed to rethink.
As of March, I’ll be heading up a start-up within a start-up for Blacklane, allowing me to continue a project which we started last year, which we are currently developing into a new service proposition. What does that mean for me? Well, on top of Customer Care for this specific service, I have to start thinking about revenue streams, who we should partner with on both a supply and demand perspective, SEO and which methods drive the correct traffic, page speed, product documentation and roadmaps, integration with Blacklane itself, team structure and organisation, tone of voice across the board (onsite, CRM, Customer Care etc). I’m being given a unique opportunity to use my customer facing experience from the past years, and spin that off into a service, ensuring satisfaction for the customers is core, as well as simplicity – Peace of mind at over 500 airports around the world.