As part of QikServe’s 10th anniversary celebrations, we take a closer look at some of the people that have made the company what it is today.
Oliver White joined QikServe in 2019 from the acquisition of Preoday and is Head of Customer Success.
What’s your background?
Before becoming part of the Qikserve team, I was a member of Preoday which merged with QikServe at the start of 2020. I’ve worn many hats from operations manager, sales executive, marketing manager, social media grunt, product support- but I’ve gradually honed my skill-set to Customer Success. Before that I was a gardener – and I have to say the pruning, weeding and mowing skills I learnt have been quite transferable!
What do you do at QikServe?
I am Head of Customer Success, which is quite a ‘does-what-it-says-on-the-tin’ role. We take pride in the fact that every customer at QikServe uses our platform in a different way – from hotel groups, to theme parks, to local chippies, to bars. It never stops surprising me how often we find ourselves in a new part of the hospitality market. So my team’s role is to ensure they are using our product to its fullest potential for their business.
This includes onboarding the customer to ensure that they are fully comfortable with their service before going live, providing ongoing support, as well as checking in with the customer to see how they can expand their service even further in the wonderful world of ecommerce.
What do you love about working at QikServe?
The diversity of the role is what I love. One day you could be troubleshooting a tricky bug with a fish & chips shop, or finding an alternative solution for a unique takeaway offering, the next you could be part of a project team for a new global enterprise strategy. Added to this is the fact that, especially during the pandemic, our team was helping keep many hospitality businesses afloat when so many traditional options for ordering and paying were no longer available. Knowing this gives an enormous drive and self-worth to your job.
The main catalyst in all this is a really tight-knit Customer Success team. More often than not, a task or challenge will be worked on as a team, and so there is a real collaborative spirit that makes it a shared joy when we’re able to help our customers.
What did you want to be when you were ten years old?
If I remember correctly I wanted to be a marine biologist, because I was really into seals. That seal phase faded and I think by the time I was 11 I was into pirates.
Where were you ten years ago?
In the middle of university, probably preparing for my Tuesday night DJ set at our local dive bar Fishtank, the best Tuesday night to be had on the Durham University circuit! Last time I checked, Fishtank is now a faux prohibition cocktail bar…
Why did you start/join QikServe (Preoday)?
I was just out of university, and my main goal was moving to London and kick off a career-path. Preoday was the perfect opportunity as it was very much in its inception period, and was the ideal space to really expand and find one’s footing. The idea of being able to preorder and pay for your drinks was also a genuine challenge I had found when in pubs and theatres, and so it was nice to be able to tackle that problem head on.
What have you been most proud of doing/project of being involved in the last ten years?
It would have to be the time spent during the first lockdown in 2020. For so many people and businesses that was such a terrifying period, and there were so many unknowns at play. As soon as lockdown was announced, the floodgates suddenly opened and businesses large and small needed to launch an ecommerce solution quickly. I was managing more than a handful of enterprise clients who would normally have taken a 2-year evaluation process for a project like this, and instead said “we need to launch in 6 weeks”. It’s a pleasure to see that, not only were these businesses able to weather the storm that Covid threw at them, but also are now able to flourish with their ecommerce services.
Where will you and QikServe be in ten years’ time?
If you asked me this in 2019 I think I would have had a clearer answer than I do now following the pandemic, when all of a sudden our platform was being tested to the extreme. But that is the core strength of our platform, our Customer Success team have a strong “why not” ethos. When customers come to us with a unique challenge we can usually find at least three different ways we can achieve that for them. And because the platform is now 10 years old, it is proven very robust and malleable. I think the pandemic demonstrated that ecommerce is not so much a nice-to-have but actually a core part of so many hospitality businesses, so I foresee our technology coming even further in sync with this.
In ten years time I would have spent almost half my life at Preoday and Qikserve! I would be pushing hard for a plaque being made in honour of this.
Tell us something that we don’t know about you?
I gate-crashed an MTV Super Sweet 16 birthday party. I didn’t know the birthday-girl, and while she was making her grand entrance on a horse painted like a zebra, I was at the free bar. When I came out I was asked by the camera crew what I thought of the entrance, and I said it was like the ‘Queen’s Coronation’.