MBA for business: How we became international company

March 13, 2020 4:54 pm

Serhiy Pashkovskyi,  Service Director at 4Service,  alumnus of МВА program of Edinburgh Business School.

Our company was founded in 2001. At that time, the business processes were structured like this: we created rules, that is, standards, told our staff how they should work, and systematically monitored their work, and in return we got satisfied customers and a competitive advantage. And it really worked and works now. Such a process wheel is much better than nothing, but it works to a certain level. It was time to change.

Yes, we have evolved – from a small Ukrainian agency we have become a large European company. The main office has been relocated to Austria. Now I am personally responsible for six countries. First, we opened for ourselves the markets of Russia and Kazakhstan, then we  ambitiously guided ourselves to the European market. It was then that I started my MBA at British university with Edinburgh Business School – so happened that we opened simultaneously 10 offices in different countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia quite boldly  at that period.

Subsequently, crisis broke out. The national currency exchange rate collapsed, and it was not easy to get back on its feet. I had to close offices in several countries. Now there are eight of them, but geographically we are working steadily on 52 countries and are satisfied with new projects in Africa, China, the USA and Brazil.

Changes went beyond geography. The core idea was for the company to constantly upgrade service tools. At first it was only mystery shopping, then more sophisticated audits. Soon we focused on NPS (net promoter score): all companies came to the conclusion that the client needs to be asked. I think each of you answered the question: “How likely are you to recommend our company to a friend?” However, consumers are often stingy with feedback. Thus, other means of communication needed to be found. So, we decided to deeply engage in marketing research: to study consumer behavior, to learn to distinguish what people say from what they do, to analyze ethnography, to conduct interviews. For quantitative research, we opened several call centers, created a network of interviewers and launched a WEB panel.

I can call usage of QR code – one of the most interesting achievements of our company as it was completely new format for instant communication between companies and their customers. Previously, there was no such an option. In my opinion, it is fast, convenient, and most importantly – effective. I hope that constantly measuring and getting true feedback we will be able to even change the behavior of Ukrainians. After all, now instead of taking revenge for bad services on social networks, one can instantly get improved service via instant feedback via the right channel.

The company is currently dealing with Service Design. We have become representatives of the Dutch company Design Thinking Academy in several countries. Service design is a full-fledged complex, which involves several technologies, research, development,  but most importantly – it provides customer-centricity and empathy to everything that you do.

Today, more than half a million people in different countries of the world cooperate with 4service. These are interviewers, call center operators, mystery shoppers, etc. The company relies on experts, involves experienced analysts, consultants, IT developers, that is, tries to on-board the best people to develop the business.

MBA education played an important role in my career. I should note that during first years, there was no marketing department in our company. The first thing that my MBA-studies prompted me to do is to start re-branding. We started to use digital technologies. Developed a completely new site, which has become our main communication tool. Previously, when marketers told me that in the future we would sell through the site, rather than direct meetings, I could not believe that this could be true. But it came true. Today we receive many requests, even unexpected ones, and are constantly working on the brand.

The Marketing course of Edinburgh Business School MBA program helped to understand the importance of developing the brand: package, communication, channels etc. For us, marketing is the opportunity to assure large global companies, we can be trusted.

Now there are 15 people working in the marketing department. We invest considerably into it, even more than our international giant competitors. And yes, we are moving forward much faster than them. The company has the opportunity to develop new segments of potential customers, sell completely new products, and on the new business markets.

What I realized while studying marketing, that now it is a synthesis of technology and art. I remember how I passed an exam with excellence:  I had to write an essay on a marketing strategy for a chocolate boutique – could not stop writing.

I graduated from Kyiv Polytechnic InstituteIt gave me an understanding of most physical phenomena. But MBA in EBS later on gave an awareness of the nature of things in business. In life, when making decisions, you, of course, do not use a textbook on marketing, economics, project management. However, the rules and knowledge are raging in my head, which guarantee the main thing – confidence that you are well prepared, and therefore, you will do everything the best way.

Now our company is an international holding company operating in the B2B market and is engaged in the improvement of the quality of services. Our partners are network service companies: banks, supermarkets, electronics stores, restaurants, that is, any company that seeks to improve the quality of services for its customers. We constantly increase the number of partners, since the idea of ​​improving the quality of service is becoming increasingly important both in Ukraine and over the world. For example, even such state giants as Ukrposhta, Oschadbank and Ukrzaliznytsia re-construct their services with our help. The mission we are motivated by is to improve customer service around the world.

A lawyer who handles only legal knowledge is of no interest to anyone

“The image of a lawyer focused on solving purely legal problems has exhausted itself today. The market is interested in a specialist who can investigate the problem more holistically, can give a legal examination taking into account the intricacies of the functioning of the business, or can take part in negotiations not only as a lawyer, but as effective communicator, HR manager or marketer. “- Diana Degel, adviser to Asters, one of the largest law firms in Ukraine, frankly shares why she had decided to finish the international MBA program and how obtained knowledge helped her in professional transformation.
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