Hi, please could you introduce yourself and let us know what your role is and how long you’ve been at eXpresso PLUS?
My name is Ryan Rich. I am the Brand Guardian for eXpresso PLUS and I have been working for the company for nearly three years. My primary duty is visiting eXpresso PLUS customers across the country to ensure they are looking after our coffee to go machines properly and maximising sales. I was the first Brand Guardian for the company and have played a very big role in developing the position into what it is today.
What’s does a typical day look like as a Brand Guardian for eXpresso PLUS?
Although I may be carrying out the same tasks, no two days are the same for me. One day I may be out and about auditing machines, the next I could be spending all day on one site assisting with launch / free drinks promotions. Other days can consist of preparing and installing machines, carrying out site surveys for potential customers or just catching up on work in the office.
What do you like most about your role?
I love the fact that I am never in the same place all day every day. I am always in a different town or city, meeting and talking to people from all walks of life. I enjoy the flexibility of being able to manage my own time and continuously learn and improve this role as time goes on. For somebody passionate about driving, the amount of miles I cover is always a bonus!
How do you ensure that the staff onsite are able to use and maintain the machine efficiently?
This process all starts on the day of a machine being installed in which we provide thorough and detailed training to staff members nominated by the site to look after the machine (Coffee Champions). Staff are then provided with an easy-to-use Operating Manual which simplifies each individual area of the machine that needs to be cleaned with step-by-step photographs and bullet points. They are also given a daily sign off sheet which they are required to fill in. This sign off sheet also works as a cleaning schedule because the great majority of our machines include weekly and monthly cleans.
Do you have a certain approach with every site you visit or do you tailor it to their needs?
I tend to use the same process in all of my visits so that everybody receives equal treatment. This ranges from the frequency of visits, flexibility of training availability and approach and attitude towards the staff members. If one of our sites were to be in trouble for instance (low sales, dirty machine failing audits etc), the store will receive a special “hypercare” treatment in which the visit frequency increases; site receives additional training and point of sale material and in some unique cases, a free drinks giveaway. We will always support in any way possible to ensure the machines are meeting the customer’s expectations.
How do you ensure that the standard of coffee quality is to a high standard?
Our machines are serviced and have their water filters changed regularly by our service engineers to ensure that the machine’s internal parts are working optimally and the water is always clean and fresh. I have also received intensive quality training courses from both Lavazza and Nestle, our two coffee partner brands. As a part of a standard Brand Guardian visit, every drink selection that the machine offers is thoroughly tested and adjusted if necessary. Our more technologically advanced machines also prompt our customers when specific cleaning tasks are required. Such as emptying bins to cleaning internal parts. In some cases, the machine will shut itself down should a task be outstanding for too long to ensure the quality of the drink isn’t compromised.
What do you think is the biggest benefit to a site having a Brand Guardian?
Having a Brand Guardian is not too similar to having a personal trainer or a property manager; they are there to help you and make things as easy as possible for you. Good, thorough training ensures that the customers’ staff are confident in what they are doing and maintain the machine to a high standard. Brand Guardians also have a good working knowledge of the technical side of the machines. Meaning if any issues are reported to us during a visit, we are likely to be able to fix it on the spot. Removing the waiting time for a service engineer to arrive.
Do you enjoy travelling around the country meeting different people and visiting different sites?
It’s one of my favourite parts of the job. Before becoming a Brand Guardian, the furthest away from home I had driven was 80 miles. Now, I’ve been to every corner of the country, seen all of the famous landmarks and met just about every type of person you could meet. Although that’s not always a good thing!
We hope you get some downtime at the places you visit, do you get to explore the different cities you go to, and if so do you have a favourite?
As lovely as it would be to take time to see the sights of the country, I tend not to have the spare time to do so. Some of our sites have inspired me to return to the area for a holiday though. For example, I took a couple of outdoor exploration holidays to the Scottish Highlands and Brecon Beacons after installing machines in those locations.
Want to become a Brand Guardian like Ryan? View our Brand Guardian Vacancy here.
For more information about eXpresso PLUS and our range of solutions please email [email protected].