From Salespeople to Concierge: An Aerial Tour of the Kaleidoscopic Service Roles in the LSG Group
Providing the best service quality possible to the end customer is a fundamental building block for the success of the LSG Group, and a brief overview of the different crew and service teams shows just how complex this whole task is. The LSG Group works with all of these teams every day in countless locations. Not every crew works for the LSG Group, but they are, as a direct line to the guests, an integral part of our outwardly visible service and product quality – whether we “only” train them, such as in the case of onboard retail, or manage them ourselves, as in our lounges.
But at which interfaces do the crew and service teams play a role in the LSG Group? And what roles do they take on within their context? The answer is more complex than you might think.
The classics: service assistants on board
Let’s start with the group that is most likely to come to mind spontaneously: the flight attendants of classic airlines. Their task is, particularly in regard to premium customers, to fulfil the desires of the guests with very little prompting. Service on board is discreet, courteous, fast and efficiently organized. Our contribution to this includes smooth logistics, impeccable loading, a first-class culinary offer and appropriately modern support for the crew on board. But that in no way exhausts the topic of service roles in the LSG Group.
The new kids on the block: salespeople in the sky
For some time now, service in the sky has also included retail sales. The LSG Group subsidiary Retail inMotion provides the technical infrastructure for retail sales on board (onboard retail) and also trains crews specializing in sales. Their role differs significantly from the classic definition of a service employee on board. Although they are primarily responsible for the safety and well-being of passengers, they also take on the role of an eloquent and well-informed salesperson. A confident presence, visibility and direct addressing of the passenger are therefore essential to establishing a customer relationship and increasing the probability of a sale. This requires profound knowledge about the products offered as well as the behaviors and preferences of potential customers on board.
The marathon runners: service personnel aboard high-speed trains
Closely related – and nevertheless different – is how you might describe the role of service staff on board trains such as the TGV. Here, it is much more about service in the context of an attractive sales offer. However, the sheer number of potential customers and the great length of the train require a fundamentally different approach. The customer is to be addressed and served where they are as far as possible, which equates to a marathon for the crew members, and significantly reduces the contact time per person. The fact that the goods on display need to be constantly mobile also means that a much smaller product range can be carried. Sporty team members with a talent for speedy sales of proven bestsellers are in demand. There is little time for extended consultation and sales conversations.
The hospitality pros: Welcome to our lounge!
It’s quite a different story in the lounges. After all, the employees of the LSG Sky Chefs-operated lounges can also be described as service ‘crews’. Although they don’t work on board a means of transportation and don’t sell anything, they serve very demanding customers who want peace, comfort and convenience in a lounge. Accordingly, the role of a lounge employee can almost be compared to that of a concierge. The guest would like to be greeted cordially, served and supported in everyday challenges if necessary – like when they forget the right adapter at home, for example. The component of time is valued in a completely different way and differs greatly. Some guests only stay briefly, while others spend hours in the lounge. Guests that return again and again appreciate it when they are recognized and their habits are proactively taken into account by the service staff.
It is difficult to find a common denominator in categorizing the roles of the different crews working with or for the LSG Group. The examples outlined above show how many of the expectations for each crew differs. Depending on the location and context, the best possible service can be defined very differently and requires different service roles. It is therefore clear that a variety of different training is needed, which is quite diverse as a whole. Only in this way can the entire LSG Group guarantee and bring to life each day the best possible service quality to the end customer at each of the identified contact points.