Alexander, Head of Function in Product Management, and Tony, Team Leader in Product Management, started as professionals at CHECK24. In this interview, you can find out what their career at CHECK24 has been like in recent years and what exciting product releases there will be in the near future.
Hi, I'm Alexander, and I've been with CHECK24 for seven years now. I work in product management for package tours as Head of Function and focus on customer loyalty and payment.
Hello, I'm Tony, team leader in product management focusing on the app. I started at CHECK24 about 6.5 years ago and, together with my team, have continuously developed the package tour comparison in the CHECK24 app.
When I started, two things needed clarification: Can I do it and meet the requirements and expectations? And: Do I enjoy the whole thing at the end of the day? Especially in view of the fact that I had hardly had any contact with the area of product management before CHECK24. Fortunately, I was able to answer yes to both questions very quickly. My superiors also saw it that way; they recognized my potential and specifically expanded and promoted it.
On the one hand, this was done with the help of suitable training courses from the in-house training catalogue and as part of development programs such as the Excellence Program or the Leaders of Tomorrow Program. On the other hand, we agreed on individual measures for my further development, such as an external communications training course lasting several days or external coaching tailored to my needs. This has been an incredible boost and helped me on my career path.
Speaking of career paths, starting as a Professional Product Manager, I was promoted to Senior Product Manager after 2 ½ years. Later, I had the chance to take over as team leader for our Quality and assurance department, which I did. It was exciting to take on the perspective of a superior myself suddenly and to be able to shape and develop an area according to his ideas. In the meantime, I'm back in Product Management as Head of Function because I can play to my strengths for CHECK24 even better here.
Even during my studies and subsequent doctorate, I was concerned with how to design apps in a user-friendly way. I had previously been able to apply my knowledge in this area to customer projects at an IT service provider. When I moved to CHECK24, I was on fire to help design my own product so that everyone could use our package tour route in the app and book their dream vacation. I started at CHECK24 in 2017 as a Professional Product Manager and was promoted to Senior Product Manager in 2019. Thanks to excellent promotion programs, such as the Excellence and Leaders of Tomorrow programs, the long unanswered question for me was whether I wanted to take on management responsibility and whether I could. And yes, I was quickly burning to lead a team and develop the package tour route in the app together with more CHECKito power. So, since 2021, I've been the team leader for product management of the package tour app route, a decision I've never regretted.
If there are challenges or problems during a project, they are addressed openly, and a solution is found for the future. But most importantly, fun is always addressed.
Alexander, HoF Product Management
Many of my friends initially thought that, as a product manager at Package Travel, I could give great travel tips and recommendations for planning trips. It's not quite like that because product management here primarily means making the package tour comparison better for our customers daily. Better in the sense of faster, more precise, simpler, and more customer-friendly, with new features and functions that, at best, no competitor on the market has yet. This also means we never stand still and always question the status quo. Sometimes, that's exhausting, but on the other hand, it's also incredibly fun. As a rule, we always work on several smaller and larger projects in parallel. But that's good because if I had to work on just one topic for weeks or months, it would be far less varied and perhaps not as much fun. By the way, it's also cool that you can tell and show your friends on the website: Hey, look, I thought up this feature and brought it live.
As great as working with apps and the direct communication channel to our users via App and Play Store, email, contact form, eKomi, and much more is, we also receive just as much feedback. One customer thinks the hotel images are much too small. The next one is bothered by the pictures taking up too much space. Once we have finally agreed on a design based on the world's most successful apps and supposedly perfectly tailored to our users, Google and Apple come around the corner shortly afterwards with a new design language, and the game starts all over again. Thus, every day differs from the other, and you are never finished. We are constantly testing different solutions for our users and, every day, feel closer to a perfect package tour route.
I still remember well when we introduced the Reise GoldClub a few years ago - a free loyalty program for our travel customers and, incidentally, the first of its kind in the package tour sector! The project was my responsibility at the time and naturally offered a lot of creative freedom. It started with the conception of which advantages we want to grant our customers in the Reise GoldClub, what the admission criteria should be, what the communication should look like, how we want to design the whole thing, how we want to map which processes technically... In the meantime, the Reise GoldClub comprises five different travel products from CHECK24 (package tour, hotel, vacation apartment, rental car and flight), and I can reveal this much: More travel products are planned for the GoldClub.
In the app, in particular, many of our users are logged in and have been booking their vacations with CHECK24 for several years. As a result, we know precisely which destinations they are interested in, whether they are travelling as a family or as a couple, and whether they prefer to go to the sea or inland. We now want to make even greater use of this knowledge to be able to display individually tailored vacation recommendations for each user on the CHECK24 app homepage.
I'm looking forward to excellent coffee from our new professional portafilter machine.
I look forward to chatting with colleagues at the coffee machine and fresh fruit delivery.