A self-proclaimed Busy Queen Bee!

Claire Boscq-Scott

CEO, Jersey Hospitality Association

You were born in Paris and grew up in the South of France where your parents opened their first restaurant. Could you tell us about these formative years?

Well, yes, my parents thought it would be a good idea to open a restaurant and therefore from the age of 7, I was carrying plates in his restaurant. I guess when you grow up in that environment, you either love it or hate, and I loved it. I love the interaction with people, I love seeing them having fun and coming back again and again. With this in mind, I decided to make hospitality my career.

You graduated from the renowned Lycee Regional Hotelier et De Tourisme de Nice / Paul Augier. What did you learn from this time and what part did it play to lead you on your future path?

I had to pass an entry exam. I remember the day I received the acceptance letter, standing in my Dad’s restaurant and jumping up and down. My Dad’s eyes were shining with pride and so I went off for 3 years to boarding school in Nice. It’s amazing, 30 years ago and I can still remember one of the Chefs de Cuisine jumping over the pass and running after our restaurant teacher with a knife try to get him. Or the day of my senior exam, when I was supposed to make a mayonnaise. I was good at making mayonnaise but that day I was so stressed, the mayonnaise broke and completely separated. I still have nightmares about that mayo, but I knew this was the path I wanted to follow and my dream at the time was to be a hotel manager, from the moment I left the school this was my only aim.

You travelled to the US and worked at the Epcot Center and Disney Florida before heading to France and then Spain. What then led you to take the role of General Manager at the St Brelade’s Bay Hotel and move to Jersey:

Disney was an incredible experience, my very first serious experience in what Customer Experience and Employees’ Experience really mean. Disney is such a leader in delivering exceptional customer experience and this has followed me throughout my career.

I came back to England for a few years, and I still had some connections in Jersey when I was told that the hotel I had been a receptionist 5 years previously was looking for a General Manager. So on the spur of the moment I decided to apply. We came to Jersey for the weekend, and I got offered the job. This was the beginning of a new chapter and a total up-rooting for my family.

I am always looking for creative ways to help people, and that’s what gets me buzzing.

In 2009, you identified a gap in the market for Mystery Shoppers and set up The Busy Queen Bee Ltd with the hope of inspiring businesses to thrive. Was this a very challenging year for you both personally and professionally?

Yes, absolutely, 2009 was another new chapter in my life. I was getting divorced and I was working at L’Horizon Hotel, my kids were 6 and 10, I had an au pair at home looking after them and I wasn’t in a good place. I knew I would get ill if I didn’t change my lifestyle.

Whilst working at L’Horizon we use to have Mystery Guests, that we were flying in from the UK. I thought surely, we should be able to do this locally, and after a few weeks of market research I realized, no-one on island was providing that kind of service, so I decided to leave my job, sell my house and start a new business. Another crazy decision but the best ever, and Busy Queen Bee was born!

Can you please explain the concept of Mystery Shopping and how the service helps businesses to achieve success?

Mystery shopping is evaluating the service you deliver. Whether it is face-to-face, on the phone or on your website, measuring will enable you to celebrate what you are doing right and identify where you have gaps and how you can improve. It is such a powerful exercise as it gives you objective feedback and change can be implemented very quickly.

You also became a reseller for DCS Systems, selling wearable video camera technology to the Police force amongst others, became a Founder of Speed Buzzing, and then went on to write your first book, Thrive with The Hive. Where does your drive come from?

I launched my own perfume as well, gosh, I am a busy lady… I guess everything I do it to help people to deliver exceptional customer service, even the perfume was all about connecting with customers on an emotional level. I have a real passion for CX, for businesses, for Employees’ engagement, this is what drives me, I am always looking for creative ways to help people, and that’s what gets me buzzing.

You became author of two more books in 2018 and 2020; Thriving by Caring and more recently, The Secret Diary of a Mystery Shopper. How well have these books been received and what did you learn from writing them.

Ooooh, yes, I did write 3 books by now, and The Secret Diary of a mystery shopper got to number one on Amazon last year. It certainly is a learning curve, the first book took me three years to write, the second three months and the last one 10 weeks. The books were always a supplement to what I was teaching, how I saw it, it was sharing what I have in my head with others so they can run fantastic businesses.

The secret diary of a mystery shopper was also a big platform to launch my new keynote presentation, I have been a professional speaker for 4 years now, and this was a lot of fun to come on stage wearing a wig, glasses, a hat and playing the under-cover inspector. There is always learning to my books, practical tools and techniques to improve on business.

I am looking forward to working with our members and stakeholders to re-boot our industry, because together we can!

In 2014, you were presented with the IoD Director of the Year Award for Small Business. What was this experience like for you and would you encourage others to apply?

Wow, what a night!! I remember it as if it was yesterday… taking a selfie on stage with Gyles Brandreth, I remember that moment of being so, so proud, my team was with me on the table, and it was a real moment in my life.

We work so hard, all the time, we forget to acknowledge the amazing things we do, so the award is a fantastic way to stop and give yourself a pat on the back, so absolutely, everyone should do it. The application is also a time to reflect, what have you done, how have you done it, it is important sometime to take stock of what we have achieved.

Your most recent activities have come about due to the pandemic and the dramatic changes in work from home and hybrid working. In June of this year, you created The BizShui™ which drew upon your practice of Feng Shui. Could you explain a little about this?

I discovered Feng Shui over 10 years ago and what most people don’t realise is that our environment has a direct effect on our own state of being, how we feel, how we think and how we behave. When the pandemic hit and suddenly everyone had to work from home, a side of a bed or a kitchen table, I thought now more than ever, people need some support on creating environments who is going to support them, not hinder them.

So, I blended the ancient principles of feng shui with business needs to reduce physical and emotional stress and increase employees’ productivity, loyalty and, ultimately, profitability. It’s amazing how small changes in our environment can make big changes in our lives.

Lastly, congratulations on becoming the new CEO of the Jersey Hospitality Association. How did this new position come about and what are your plans for the organisation going forward?

I guess this must be the third momentum in my life; I work a lot on intuitions and how situations make me feel. At the end of August, I received an email from the JHA, it was an email to all of their database, but for some reason, I read this email and thought it was sent to me. 24hrs after my presentation to them, I was offered the job with a starting date two days after… wow, another crazy decision but again, it feels so right.

I am back full on in the hospitality community, and it’s been a busy few weeks already, lots of meetings with our members and our business partners. I also have a big involvement with the government and other stakeholders and I am drinking lots of coffee, building new relationships and nurturing old ones.

November will be a time of putting together the JHA business plan, I have big ideas with events and training to re-ignite our members and help them improve their service delivery. Recruitment is the top priority on my list and we have the elections coming up next year and that will be big on our agenda. There is a lot to do and I am looking forward to working with our members and stakeholders to re-boot our industry, because together we can!