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Going back to the floor - What could you learn?

Like many people, working from home has led to more time sitting and less time exercising. A quick glance at my FitBit (say no more!) has motivated me to break away from my desk and get walking… so far, so good and it’s been a great opportunity to catch up on podcasts too!

I recently enjoyed ‘The diary of a CEO’ podcast with Deliveroo co-founder, Will Shu. Deliveroo is worth £5 billion and is one of Europe’s fastest growing companies. Despite this, he still jumps on his bike to complete collections and deliveries to unaware restaurants and customers. His top three reasons for doing this are:

  1. To test out the Deliveroo app

  2. To see the restaurants in action

  3. To get some exercise

In the podcast, Shu shared a recent experience where he posed as a rider. After a long wait at a restaurant partner, rude staff brushed him off when he warned them that the food to be delivered was cold.  Their response was “Just deliver it buddy”. Another rider, passing by, added "You see, these guys are at it again". It confirmed his suspicion that this incident was not just a one-off.

He logged the incident in his notes, took the learnings back to HQ and talked to the restaurant partners the following day with the aim of working out how to make the system function better.   “We’re building a business for our riders, our restaurant partners and our consumers - they’re all customers and we know we can improve the model for everyone” WILL SHU

Many businesses talk about being ‘customer-centric’ without really grasping what it means. Being customer-centric is all about truly understanding your customers so you can anticipate their needs and wants. One way of doing this is by going back to the floor, observing the customer experience first-hand and learning what might be hindering your service delivery. Managers who do this can benefit from fresh insights into their customers, their staff and their products and services.

If you want to become more customer-centric, perhaps it’s time to step away from your desk and think about what you might learn by going back to the floor.


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