iStart magazine – The voice of the customer | Quarter Two 2014

Published on the 01/05/2014 | Written by Clare Coulson

The customer is king. Yes, it sounds clichéd but it’s the truth, and the common theme that ran through the conversations behind this issue. And yet many companies still haven’t learnt the lesson… [View emag]



Features: A modern marketers guide to technology (what marketers need to know about technology), Tracking the customers pulse (the scope of CRM software), Does outsourcing contact centres work? (is outsourcing worth the potential pain), is your personal data safe? (we spotlight data security), Has the spark gone out of telco business? (the possible future of telecommunication), How to hatch your business idea? (the business incubators and accelerators in Australasia).

IT success stories by industry: Retail, Aged Care, Distribution, Property development and Professional Services


This issue has all you need to know about how to get your customer to love you and shout it from the rooftops and I think it would behoove senior executives to note that social media is just one small part of it. In my cover feature, I explore the modern marketing theories of several business leaders ‘in the know’ – and, apparently, ‘All you need is love…’ (altogether now…). Learn what they have to say on p12. Anthony Doesburg extends these theories into the realm of the mind-boggling array of solutions that are competing to help you manage your customers on p22. Our regular commentators Paul Brislen and Ben Kepes chip in too, offering their advice on using social media for business, and we also provide a good dose of real world experiences in CRM-focused case studies in the section after the 2014 CRM Buyer’s Guide fold-out. Of course, customers are not always delighted as the call centre jockeys will attest and, worse, this pain point is often outsourced or even off-shored, so we sent Stephen Withers out to the coalface to find out more. It’s a sticky topic, he discovered, where all is not as it may seem, turn to p44 for more.

CRM systems are chock-a-block with more and more intricate and sensitive customer data – name, email, likes, dislikes, birthday and favourite underwear style. It’s scary when you stop to consider how much personal and intimate information is stored digitally by companies and it would be remiss to not consider its safety in this issue. The dirt on data breaches is exposed in my feature on p52, and ASC president Brenda Aynsely along with the experts at MYOB remind us that often it is the people behind IT that we rely on to keep customers’ data safe and clean.

One industry that is much-maligned by its disgruntled customers is telecommunications. Today it finds itself between a rock and a hard place as fixed-line connections dwindle and it needs to carve out new revenue streams. Bill Bennett investigates the future of our telcos on p64. One potential new area of income is the digital venture space, but that’s getting pretty crowded too. There seems to be no shortage of people with great ideas that could become money spinners (I see the spin on at least ten a day myself). Actually turning those ideas in to action and success is quite a different matter and that’s where business incubators and accelerators come in. If you have an idea that you think has legs and the gumption to do something about it, check out Fiona Hanlon’s list of who can help on p72. And if it really looks like it’s going to take off, give me a call!

Clare Coulson

THE VOICE OF THE CUSTOMER (launch the eMagazine here)
iStart Magazine

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