May 31, 2018
Meet the expert: Christian Svensson
In a new series around Circle K's commitment to its business customers, we delve into the many benefits behind the company’s offering and how its people are truly thought leaders in the industry. We recently spoke with Circle K’s top sales expert about his experiences in the industry.
I´m 46 years old and I live in Onsala which is situated 30 km south of Gothenburg with my wife and two daughters; 12 and 19 years old. In my spare time I´m a dedicated handball coach and I like to play golf. I have worked for Statoil / Circle K for 25 years as Sales Market Manager, Station Manager and now Senior Key Account Manager.
What is your favourite part of your job? What do you like most about working at Circle K?
To meet our customers! I´m very interested in my customer´s business and I like to be able to help our customers to develop. I always get a good feeling when I can help them. If I can help my customers to be more successful then Circle K will succeed too. To maintain a long-term business relationship with the customer and to get their trust is what´s it all about.
What do you see as the most exciting thing happening in the fuel and convenience industry today?
There are a lot of interesting things going on at the moment. First of all, I´d like to mention that Circle K has signed an agreement with IONITY. IONITY is a joint venture of BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen Group with Audi & Porsche. Its mission is to create a network of 400 high-power chargers (HPC) across Europe to enable long-distance e-mobility. The chargers will be capable of 350-kW charging speeds, which will enable the customers to charge nearly three times faster compared to the best competitor. Circle K will help IONITY to expand in Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden.
Sweden and Circle K are also in the forefront when it comes to environmental fuels. In Sweden we are the largest supplier of renewable diesel. We blend up to 42 % biofuel in our diesel. Today we have the world's largest HVO100 station network. HVO100 is a product that reduces CO2 emissions by 90%. We also offer ED95, B100, and CNG at some of our stations.
We also have a unique environmental report that gives the customer data of how much CO2 emissions they create.
What is the most important thing you have learned while working at Circle K?
To listen and learn from customers and colleagues. There is a lot of competence within this company and to be able to use that combined with our customer´s knowledge, that is really something that helps you to develop.
If you can give one piece of advice to our customer related to your Circle K service/offering what would it be?
To use all the tool´s we provide to keep their costs down and to use us as primary advisors when it comes to fuel. Circle K offers your company a total transportation cost solution which means that we can reduce overall costs. We make it simple for the customer by continuously improving our six key areas – Station network, cards & services, products, security, environment and easy visits. Read more about it here: stories.circlekeurope.com
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your specific area of work?
My biggest challenge was in 2015 when I had worked with the operation of our service stations in southern Sweden for 23 years. I had been responsible for both franchise and corporate operations. I left a job that I was very competent within and felt safe with.
I switched job to Senior Key Account Manager within B2B, responsible for some of Circle K's largest customers. The reason for this was that I felt I wanted to challenge myself and I felt that I had an opportunity to succeed if I did my best. This year I was appointed Europe's best seller. Today I can say I made the right decision.
Can you share some good examples or experiences with customers?
In April 2016, Erlandsson's CEO Markus Brink, one of the major construction companies in Sweden, came with a request that he wanted Circle K to provide his fleet vehicles with HVO100. They would be the first in Sweden to test fleet vehicles with HVO100 as it yet was no approved standard from the manufactures. We managed to establish a HVO100 pump for passenger cars within a few weeks from the request. Everything went very fast and smooth thanks to my professional colleagues.
Together with Citroen, Erlandsson made a test and after that both Citroen and Peugeot approved this environmental fuel in all their vehicles worldwide.
A year ago, Scania asked if they could do a similar test but with Volkswagen cars. We made sure that this test also started quickly and smoothly and now Scania have approx. 1000 Volkswagen cars with HVO100. We have recently also made HVO100 available to passenger cars in Gothenburg.
More information be found here and here.