Telstra takes digital initiative

QUEENSLAND LEADERS Industry Partner, Telstra has won in international IDG Enterprise Digital Edge 50 award for leadership in digital commerce.

The award specifically acclaimed Telstra’s 24x7 customer self-care app which allows customers to select their own on-demand service mix, control their mobile account in real-time, and manage budgets and data consumption. The app is based on digital management software technology developed by US-based Matrixx Software.

This app won the award because it allowed Telstra to service its customers in the same way as big digital brands, and is a result of Telstra’s early adopter strategy to become one of the world’s first digital full service providers. 

In 2011, Telstra launched its ‘Digital First’ strategy, priming the business for the on-demand economy by providing customers with the Telstra 24x7 for personalised shopping, customer support and account management.

Since the launch of the strategy, data average revenue per user (ARPU) has grown several percentage points, and 58 percent of all customer transactions are now conducted through digital channels.

Telstra has said its strategy continues to make impressive steps with data service monetisation and improving net promoter system (NPS) scores through greater customer satisfaction.

“Telstra continues to be ahead of their market because they aggressively challenged themselves to reinvent the customer experience,” said Matrixx Software founder and vice president of marketing Jennifer Kyriakakis.

“They now own some of the most satisfied customers in the market, growing revenue for the company and pointing the way to further digital dividends.”

Ms Kyriakakis  said Matrixx enabled real-time customer engagement so Telstra could “deliver a superior experience to all their customers by enabling the purchase of products and services, account management and support features on-demand, 24-hours a day”.

“The result is a new brand of customer service that has turned neutral consumers into brand advocates,” she said. “Across the industry, these customers are happier, more loyal and have a deeper trust in their service provider. They are worth more in terms of net spend, buy more products, and recommend Telstra to their family and social networks.”

The Digital Edge awards are judged by a panel of IT and business executives, based on innovation. Global winners are selected based on highly significant projects, impressive business results and superior collaboration among stakeholders.

Award recognition came at the AGENDA17 conference and awards gala on March 20-22, 2017 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.


EXTRA >> Sources: Telstra annual report, 2014.  Telstra annual report, 2016 (PDF page 10).

Read more about Telstra’s Digital First strategy here.




Contracts need scrutiny for ‘unfairness’

BUSINESS leaders are going to have to get their heads around new small business contract law provisions and modify their approaches, according to Optimum Recoveries managing director Angela McDonald

New provisions came into force in November to help protect small businesses from unfair terms in contracts – and they also apply to standard form contracts entered into or renewed from November 12, 2016. 

Ms McDonald said the law highlighted some examples of terms that may be unfair, including terms that enable a business to avoid or limit their obligations under the contract; enable a business to terminate the contract; penalise a business for breaching or terminating the contract; or enable a business to vary the terms of the contract.

“Most small businesses use standard form contracts: these are ‘generic’ contracts where the other party has little or no opportunity to negotiate the terms – in other words, take it or leave it,” Ms McDonald said.

“If a court or tribunal finds that a term is ‘unfair’, the term will be considered void – this means it is not binding on the parties,” she said. “The rest of the contract will continue to bind the parties to the extent it is capable of operating without the unfair term.”

Ms McDonald said most of Optimum’s clients were seeking urgent assistance with standard form contracts they were presently using, to ensure they were legally binding under the new laws.

These included franchise agreements, manufacturing and distribution agreements, business terms and conditions, licence agreements, service agreements and leases. Optimum Recoveries is a 2016 Queensland Leaders Executive Member.



Build resilience in your workforce - and you’re ready for anything

RESILIENCE may seem to be just another buzzword in the business development lexicon at the moment. Not so, according to human resources specialists at HR Business Direction, who have drawn great results by guiding various workforces to understand and enhance their resilience.

This has been known to free up business leaders, give them time from internal management issues, and instead drive their businesses forward with a focused workforce. 

“Resilience is the power or ability to return to the original form,” HR Business Direction managing director and strategist Leisa Messer said. “It’s the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. Or ability to rebound.

“Maybe it’s the answer and it’s not just about being able to cope.”

Ms Messer said building staff resilience to all sorts of challenges within a business may ultimately prove to be the best way to help businesses develop in ways that make for better jobs and conditions in the long term.

“When dealing with staff, as business owners, managers and staff dealing with other staff, we deal with conflict, grievances, difficult personalities, bullying, mental health issues, drug and alcohol abuse, performance issues, terminations, redundancies, stress, job changes, preparing and managing them for various business changes, the impact of their personal lives on their work … and I’m sure you can keep adding to the list,” Ms Messer said.

“But what if staff were more resilient?  How we interpret what is happening can affect how we solve problems, how we feel about what is happening and how we operate in that environment. 

“If staff were more resilient, they could brush off things that would otherwise affect them or, as they say, ‘bounce back’ quicker. Conflict, bullying and stress, for example, would be decreased and performance issues, impacts from terminations, redundancies, job changes and other changes in the business would be easier,” she said.

“Well maybe that’s too ideal but it’s certainly better for employees to be resilient than not and would go a long way to positively contributing to maximising performance and productivity – as change is not only happening in our workplaces but also in society constantly.”

Ms Messer said her research indicated that resilience could improve an individual’s performance by up to 25 percent.

“So think about the impact on the total business if everybody’s resilience was improved,” Ms Messer said.

HR Business Direction is increasingly finding its clients focusing, with guidance, on building more resilient – and in the longer term successful – workforces.




Customer journey maps can build value - 3rdView

IT IS CALLED Customer Journey Mapping and the method is become increasingly popular as organisations seek to understand their customers’ experiences in detail.

Exponents of Customer Journey Mapping, Brisbane-based 3rdView, have charted a range of clients discovering new aspects to their businesses by clearly understanding their own current customer experiences and desired experiences. 

“A Customer Journey Map is a diagram that illustrates the activities and emotions a customer goes through when engaging with an organisation around a specific goal,” 3rdView managing director Marie-Claire Grady said.

“They can be used to demonstrate the current experience, or describe desired experiences.

“The most valuable journey maps use the customer or user perspective to engage and unite teams to improve the value they deliver to customers, staff, and the business.”

Ms Grady’s team at 3rdView has developed a high level of expertise in the method and can help clients to develop skills to maximise the value of their Journey Maps.

There were three main ingredients for success in Customer Journey Mapping, Ms Grady said.

“First, make it real, or don’t make it,” she said. “Make sure that any journey is informed by actual customer experiences.”

Ms Grady said the process of uncovering the customer experience through research was incredibly powerful, and helped people eliminate assumptions “while understanding the importance of taking a customer perspective”.

“Second, engage a diverse team to explore the journey,” Ms Grady said. “Developing a Customer Journey Map is a team sport. A diverse team will connect with different aspects of the journey, and take a much broader perspective on how the organisation should respond.

“Most importantly, a diverse team will share customer stories across the organisation, achieving deeper engagement with stakeholders, and strengthening the cultural impact.”

Ms Grady said the third ingredient for success was to “maintain a large, physical, low fidelity format for as long as possible”. 

“Journey Maps are a powerful story-telling tool. 3rdView Journey Maps are maintained in a rough, large format for as long as possible. People can’t help but engage with Journey Maps when they walk past, which sparks conversation and enhances engagement.”

Ms Grady said 3rdView Consulting, a Queensland Leaders Future Leaders Alumni member,would run ‘Introduction to Customer Journey Mapping’ sessions throughout 2017.