Fueling a “fresh” approach to customer experience with frontline-first training and communications
Supporting transformation—at scale
To support this effort, the Retail Sales & Operations team, led by Gábor Mozga (Head of Group Sales & Operation) and Mitja Kulcar (Frontline Training & Development Lead), had to find a faster and more effective way to engage and train more than 15,000 frontline hosts in almost 2,000 stations across nine countries in seven languages.
Kulcar explains, “Our day-to-day operation has become much more complex. We have to continuously engage our hosts and provide them with the tools, training and communications they need to execute on our strategy, so they can keep pace with ever-changing consumer and business demands. And we need to be able to do this at scale.”
Developing and delivering training programs for the workforce was nothing new for the team. They’d done it successfully many times over the years. So they knew it could take up to 18 months to train a single market using face-to-face methods. Considering they’d have to do this across all nine markets and within the company’s ambitious timeline, it was apparent their existing approach wouldn’t cut it. They’d need to try something different. They’d need to innovate.
The key to the future: innovate and educate
MOL Group strongly believes innovation and training and education are key to the company’s future. This belief was reflected in the Retail Sales & Operations team’s decision to adopt an innovative new digital approach to frontline training and education. It was an approach that would increase agility, scale and speed while supporting each employee’s individual performance needs so they could deliver the best customer experience possible.
Initially, when exploring how to digitalise training and communications and bring it directly to the frontline, the team assumed most hosts would prefer to access training using the station’s devices, such as back-office computers, station tablets or POS terminals. After some digging, they learned hosts were already using personal devices for work purposes (e.g. to communicate with colleagues, share daily updates and schedules, etc.). It became clear that, with the right learning technology and the introduction of a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, they could leverage their existing infrastructure to create a digital, user-driven, on-demand training experience that supported real-time communications. And that’s when they turned to Axonify, a modern training and communications solution specifically built to fit seamlessly into the unique way busy, deskless frontline employees actually work.
Now that they had the tools they needed to digitalise “eSMILE,” their training and communications experience, they were ready to pilot the program in their first market, Slovenia. The pilot exceeded all expectations. It was such a huge success that the team decided it would serve as a template for the remaining markets. At least, that was the plan. But then the unexpected happened.
Service with eSMILE
With more than 900 (of a planned 1,250) locations currently open, Fresh Corner currently outnumbers both Starbucks and McDonalds locations in the region, making MOL Group the biggest coffee retailing chain in Central Europe.
Kulcar and Mozga believe one of the contributing factors to the concept’s success is eSMILE. Mozga explains, “What sets our Fresh Corner stations apart from traditional fuel stations is the quality and variety of consumer services. And that comes down to our hosts. They’re the foundation. It’s our job to give them the support they need—from the tools to the training, communications and resources—to deliver the best service and create the kinds of experiences that make each and every customer smile when they’re on the move. Fundamentally, that’s the purpose of eSMILE.”