Me (John O’Connor), Robbie Skuse and John Hegarty – three wires in a plug.
I won’t say that I’m the live-wire and John Hegarty is the grounding earth wire with Robbie as the neutral in the middle because, well that wouldn’t be entirely accurate. What I will say is that without all three wires, the plug wouldn’t work, and someone would probably get a shock.
All the plug does is switch the company on. It absolutely doesn’t work without a really good team inside it, and that’s exactly what we have. For a company that deals, almost predominately in rubbish, you’d wonder where the passion and enthusiasm comes from each day but you’d need to see our team to believe it. Every day, without fail, it’s there.
I’m not saying it’s perfect. Literally no job is perfect (and I once knew a chap whose job it was to taste Cornettos). Of course there are days when someone feels like throwing a printer out the window, but that’s the nature of life, not just life in business.
We started Kollect with a vision and our team absolutely buy into it. On day one, when it was just the three of us we wrote that vision on a white board with a permanent marker (we didn’t know it was permanent at the time) – “We will create simple ways to get all waste collected and recycled globally, creating WOW through customer service”. Simple for us means allowing customers to find us easily through online search, receive a quote for the job, a date for collection and the ability to book and pay online or using cash. Ultimately, the customer is totally in charge of their waste collection needs.
The WOW factor is something that we felt should always be fundamental. It’s not a part of the business – it is the business. If you create an efficient product and wrap it in a service that makes the customer feel respected, appreciated and most importantly of all, special, then you shouldn’t go far wrong. Our team watched us collect people’s rubbish in the back of our cars. They watched us take calls from customers whilst doing something as trivial as getting married. We’d like to think that we have led by example, which is why, if a customer is knocking, and there’s nobody available at that minute to answer, the chap who designed the website will answer.
Because our team is so important, we’ve had to do some thinking, and learn from some mistakes about how to build the perfect foundation for our business to grow. We like to hire based on recommendations, however, if we meet our soulmate in the interview room, they’ll more than likely get hired.
It’s all about thinking for yourself, but always thinking of others – your co-workers and your customers. If you’re good at your job, but you’re a moody so-and-so, then sorry, we can’t work with you. If you can’t multitask, sorry, best find somewhere else. If you’re the type of person who spends most of the day looking at the clock, we feel sorry for you, but we don’t want you working with us.
We love our team. They’re not perfect, but they’re honest, and that’s all that we can ask for (as well as all the other stuff of course). We’ve all got each others’ backs and collectively, genuinely, we’ve got our customers’ backs.
- John O'Connor, CEO & Co-Founder of Kollect