Thank you for allowing me to share our story with you. My name is Sofie Pickhard – Ziethen, and I am the founder of Servicexcellence, also known as Servicexcellence.com.
I am an Austrian expat who fell in love with the Middle East long before my first work assignment took me to the United Arab Emirates in 2011. I studied International Hotel Management in Austria and Hong Kong and completed my Master of International Hospitality Management in the United Kingdom before arriving in Abu Dhabi.
My Middle East – and, therefore, training experience – started at the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island, where I was part of the pre-opening team. The hotel was a construction site when I arrived, and we had a few months left before the opening of this wonderful property.
The closer the opening date came the more people joined our team from all over the world and demonstrated various levels of experience and knowledge. Some knew the difference between lobster and prawns; some tried them before, some had no idea about the origin of the dish or the taste itself. In an ideal world, we would have asked the chefs to heat up their pans and fry up a few things to try – we did, however, have no gas to cook at that stage of the opening and I was looking for other a ways to share our knowledge with the new joiners.
I went online, found a few pictures and did my best to share what I knew with the motivated crowd of future food runners, order takers and supervisors. Their appreciation, immediate understanding and the hunger for more knowledge motivated me to help them even more and get into what today is known to me as ‘’people development and training”.
The idea of Servicexcellence was born.
It did not take long for me to pack everything I had, to get myself certified as a group trainer and coach and to join a local five-star property in Dubai, where I had the chance to develop my facilitation skills within a familiar environment. Developing my skills in an environment of trust, passion and constant challenges enabled me to move into a business consulting role and global training experience a few years later when I continued my career in business development and strategy. One day, on the way to a meeting, back then as a business consultant and trainer, in 2015 I was once again stuck in traffic and had a few moments to review my personal journey. It was then, when all of a sudden, I realized that people today, needed something different, something that is relevant to them personally and professionally and that adds real value to their life.
This internal wake-up call, alongside personal reasons, changed everything for me. This was the day when I took everything I had, and founded Servicexcellence, the development and consulting company.
This was the moment all pieces of the puzzle came together, the experience in customer service, leadership and people development, and the brand value and market identity created with Servicexcellence, for what it is known today.
Today, the team and I, identify, create and design, develop and measure the effectiveness of our programs delivered for our business partners in various countries around the world.
We are known for our motivational workshops, the impact our team has on our partners’ progress and our approach to supporting individuals and organizations through continuous development. ‘’We say that ‘’service’’ and ‘’excellence’’ should be integrated, regardless of which industry you are in. I personally believe that success is black and white. Either you take the right steps to evolve or you don’t. Reaching success in Servicexcellence allows you to achieve greatness in your personal and professional life. The more love, appreciation, and passion you share with people, the better results you will receive in return.” Sofie Pickhard – Ziethen, Founder and CEO