49. New Opportunities For Old-Fashioned Customer Relationships With Matthew Dunstan
TRANSCRIPTION: THE CUSTOMER-CENTRIC SHOW PODCAST
with Mel Telecican (Customer-Centric Coach)
Episode 49. New Opportunities For Old-Fashioned Customer Relationships With Matthew Dunstan
Mel: Hi there welcome to the first episode of 2016. Mel Telecican here. Thanks so much for joining me for our first show of the year. Things are going to change a little bit this year. You might not feel it too much today but in coming episodes, I am going to be sharing with you some big changes that we have made so that we can help businesses get more customers, more profits and more freedom sooners by thinking about customers first. So while those are going to be coming up soon you will hear it next week. I am very excited because we are going to be improving things here to make sure that we are helping you in the best way possible through these episodes. So firstly I hope you have had a fantastic break. I took 4 weeks off. Normally I would end up working at the desk and I tell you it was just great to properly stop. I think it is probably first time in 6 years that I have not literally touched a laptop in that time frame. So yeah sure business reading and all that sort of stuff but just different and much more on a leisurely level.
Now before we get into today’s episode I want to bring your attention and association called Nora. Now this is not a paid post, this is me telling you about it because it think you will find some value in it. if you are in retail and I know portion of my listeners are, so we got a mixture of hospitality service based businesses and retailers. If you are in retail, you really should check out Nora because they have put together a bunch of resources but also they run fantastic events that you can be a part of as well. So giving you an insight of what they are doing in Sydney, they got an event coming up on the 11th of February. It is expedition to lush. Lush is that international cosmetics brands. They have those fancy looking soaps and you get to see the behind the scenes of this business. Now that’s a business going to 800 stores. So if you want to check that out that’s in Sydney and in Brisbane and this one I am heading to and this is expedition to beginning boutique. That explosively growing brand. There is a fashion brand online as well as seeing behind the scenes of edible balloons. A company that puts chocolates into amazing looking cakes and seeing how these businesses run. Being able to ask questions and also to collaborate and talk to other people who are in the industry is a great opportunity that exists when you get along to these events. So events aren’t the only thing they do. They put on free webinars for their members and they create lots of other valuable resources. So I would suggest go over to their website and have a look. Nora.org.au. I am positive that you will find real value in investigating what it is that they do. So go and check them out and let me know how you get on.
You are listening to the customer centric show with Mel Telecican where we talk with successful business owners and experts to share smart ways to attract more customers, profits and freedom by thinking about customers first. Now, here is your host Mel Telecican.
Mel: Thanks for joining me today. I have invited Matthew Dunstan to be today’s guest because Matthew understands how easy it is for business owners like ourselves to become caught up in working in our businesses and for whatever reason not able to spend sufficient time on working on our businesses to grow and do all those big picture things that we originally set out to do when we started in business. He understands the immense value that comes from creating and implementing a sustainable plan for growth. Matthew left a successful career at Microsoft. He perused his dream on sailing out on the world and this family. It sounds amazing isnt it? He returned to Australia and is now a consultant and adviser helping leaders and entrepreneurs navigate their path for growth and provide services to help business owners with the challenges of leading and growing business. He is a 20 year veteran marketing and product innovation having worked for well-known organizations like Australian graduate school of management and Microsoft where he was a senior leader for almost 10 years. Last year Matthew published his first book the co-working evolution for secrets to successfully working for yourself. He is a trusted adviser now in the role as an associate director for price order house in the private client division. Matthew thanks for joining me today to talk about business, customer centricity and planning for growth.
Matthew: Yeah absolute pleasure. Thanks for inviting me.
Mel: You are absolutely welcome. Now we have known each other for a little while and for some time I said I really want to get you on the show. So I am glad that you are finally here. Now let’s talk about customer centricity. Do you have an example that you believe is customer centric and could you share your reasoning with us?
Matthew: Yeah definitely. Now would you believe that the first example that came to my mind was actually the Brisbane city council and some people might raise their eye brows, a government organization really? But let me draw your attention to their call center in particular and what probably very few people realize is that the call center probably since 2000 have won just a ridiculous number of customer service awards for the way that they structure respond and deal with customer inquiries and I had the opportunity to do a little bit of work with them quite a long time ago now. But when I was there speaking with the manage in charge, she took me through all of the design that went into how they could set themselves up to provide the very best customer service and it range from the systems they use, the knowledge they put in place to help people respond well, the way that they hire and train people, even their performance standards. The way that they measure in the outcomes of the staff and the thing that probably impresses me the most is here we are 16 years later and when you call the Brisbane city council call center you still get the same high quality consistent experience. You call the phone is answered really quickly which is an absolute pleasure I think considering what usually happens when you call large organizations and the person on the phone has the answer on their fingertips because they have such an extensive database of questions and answers or they personally take responsibility for contacting the various specialist throughout that council organization and I just love the design kind of thinking that has gone into kind of creating that front facing customer experience. So Brisbane city council gets a big thumbs up in my opinion.
Mel: Matthew I am really glad that you brought up that group because it wouldn’t been in top of mind for me but as you are talking I am thinking about my experience which was I guess the time when I was making the most calls to council when I was trying to get licensing for my business. So that’s a good 7 or 8 years ago now and I have to say that at that stage absolutely even then like they were very clear on what they can help me with and if they couldn’t then someone gave a specific name of people name who could be calling me back and the time frame that was going to take. So it was fantastic as a business owner because it meant that I knew where I stood and I felt like I was yeah everything was in control and I didn’t have to follow up too much and yeah I did find it absolutely fascinating and specially when it came to setting out what was out forced by some making sure that we are compliant. There was so much detail they were able to answer there really quickly so thanks for me reminder and great example. That’s excellent. But it is all about systems isnt it? Making sure that everything there is at the fingertips for the people on the phone.
Matthew: Yeah very much so and I guess the take away for me just reflecting on that experience is they actually put some thought into designing it. It wasn’t just and intent you know. Turned up at the start of the year and say hey we want to be excellent at customer service. They actually put some thought into what does that mean? How do we actually make sure it happens? So full marks to the people who are going to embark on that journey all those years ago.
Mel: Yeah absolutely congratulations indeed. Now I gave a little bit of insight to our listeners around how you came to your current role and what you are doing. But I love to elaborate for some more and share with us what led you to this role and what you are doing now and what is exciting you in your positioning price order house coopers.
Matthew: Yeah sure and it is a bit of secure as I think some of the most interesting journeys are. My stock in trade when I did my first degree in marketing. But I guess all along I had a bit of interest or drive for entrepreneurship. I remember when I was going for 7 years old collecting epidemic and that was my neighbors tree and you know shelling them and sticking in the jar and trying to sell back to him. So always been of tuned into I think ways we could do things better and I just love the innovation and process of invention and that’s just continued throughout my career which sometimes has been at certain point as entrepreneur. And other times more of being as entrepreneur I guess within an organization. So even with some corporate roles that I have had it still been around all of the problems that we have seen in the market and we do differently and not even from customer point of view but also even in internal process innovation point of view. So I moved into the IT industry fairly quickly here in Brisbane and working myself as a consultant in web and portal space so that was my experience in Brisbane city council. And then moved into a role at Microsoft so I worked for them and for five years in Australia I moved into the UK and start working around innovation and solutions and that was in 2005 actually so moved over to the UK in 2005 with my family and then I did lots of interesting things so I ended up running portfolio products and well on the top of all of this let’s go sailing and actually sailing for me was really perused of couple of big life goals that I had. I always wanted to go and work overseas and just experience what it was like to work and live in another culture and so that’s what moved me to the UK and lot of international work was about. So it was really fortunate to do that. Sailing is one of the things that was had talked about during semi-retirement plan and my children were in advocacy. But then I was listening to a speaker one day who said the problem with retirement plans is people kind of put them off and then they retire and find them may be not enjoyed as much as they thought they might. So you really need to start working on these things today. What can you do now on the retirement plan? And I came home and I said honey! I have a great idea. We would rather go sailing with the kids or without the kids and so that was the start of 12 month process of getting ourselves ready and so then bought a boat and we went sailing around the Caribbean. Atlanta sea for all. Very influential experience definitely.
Mel: You know I think just posing on that comment you said now that do you want to do it now or do you want to do it later and I think for me in personally that has been a really important thing for me that I do that because I lost my father few years ago and he worked so hard during his life and he didn’t actually make retirement and I think it is so important that you do need to do those things that you want to do and that have so much value for your family and for yourself personally. Now because we are not sure what is ahead of us and while we all know that, I think that sometimes it is very easy to just let it go forward and always beyond the horizon so congratulation for taking that leap and for your wife too for going onboard with this.
Matthew: Yeah she has followed me on many adventures. We actually just sat down before Christmas and we were having dinner and I said honey I have to thank you because you followed me on and I counted them out of my fingers 13 misadventures and actually turned out pretty good. So she is a very trusting lady definitely.
Mel: Fantastic. I am sure with all of those adventures and misadventures then just opens up new things for you. There is lots of benefits even for the negative and not idea situations. Excellent. So now you working at price-order house coopers, the private client division. Could you explain briefly how that works and what sort of businesses you working with?
Matthew: So I joined PWC actually took a little while to get my head around because when we think of PWC we think of large corporate consulting sort of space but what I came to understand was this that this product clients who works exclusively with privately businesses with family businesses and founders and when I came back to Australia having Microsoft, I said to myself I really want to spend my time in place of that really matter. So I wasn’t in a hurry to looking for another corporate role. I really wanted to work with people who were at a grass route level focused on creating value for their clients. Creating something for themselves and their family and also for supporting their employees and their families. For me that family and community probably is a big outcome from our experience in sailing. So when I discovered PWC division that work exclusively at space and they said you know come and help us help other people in that sort of journey. I thought wow, what a great opportunity. So that’s what I do these days. I work with business owners who are looking to grow their business and have them take it strong to where they are today to something moving forward and of course because of my background I tend to work mostly with people around market strategies and often where those new product and services got a bit of technology bent to it. it is really rewarding. When we do good work and create outcome for businesses, that’s a really direct kind of impact on the people who work with them.
Mel: Absolutely and I expect there will be great reward seeing those businesses. Go to market with these products and just seeing the potential to be unlocked and revealed I guess as you go along. So in terms of when you say grass roots do you mean you are not talking start up? You are talking about businesses that I guess are operating well and having success and ready to step up in terms of growth. Is that what you mean?
Matthew: Melissa it is actually been a little of both. So certainly probably half of the clients that I work with and existing businesses who are wanting to do something new. I got a couple of clients to very traditional sort of businesses you know one of them in manufacturing business and they are looking at the environment around and saying well what does my business need to look like kind of moving forward.
Mel: To innovate right. To be able to know that you got a future of what you are doing.
Matthew: Yeah and look it is really a business transformation question. If I run a traditionally kind of defined and built business in the past, chances are that I probably run the business same way I can’t provide services to my customers in the same way in the future. I think this is really quality thing for business owners to look. Probably 1/3 of my client are in start-up space and sitting on like a really good idea or good product and challenges of how do they take it to market and that’s always really satisfying as well.
Mel: Yeah you have done a lot of work in that stage. I met you as well in Brisbane and so being able to go through that lean start-up and methodology to test and as a market therefore your idea is essentially. Ok so how people come to you. As we said PWC is known as the big business to help big business I guess. So these people you are working with or other people who you are working with in section of business. How are they discovering you and because this is pretty exciting being able to get to know how people like yourself in this space with all the resources that would be able to available additionally is pretty big deal. So how did all that come about?
Matthew: Yeah I guess most of the people passes through traditional marketing kind of activity and certainly lot of relationship in this sort of consultancy based business and accounting practice. It very much is about relationships and referrals and so people do know people and you kind of build the base up like that. One of the things that I have always been an advocate and certainly because of my tool and trade you know kind of marketing. I look at what is their own kind of process for creating new relationships and delivering value in helping people and realize that potential. So having brought marketing into the organization and we have own process in place called marketing water fall which helps us to know the value bought in and kind of create relationships and look for opportunities to deliver value.
Mel: Okay excellent. So you mentioned there it is about relationships and that’s how referrals come from that as well. So obviously that’s a big part of your business. Do you work with your clients on how they can develop their relationships to improve their business as well?
Matthew: I do. May be just little commentary what I am seeing in the market from a market point of view is for a number of years everyone was fell in love with social media because it is cheap and easy way to get message around but I think a lot of people became disillusion of social media because they were talking and there was not a lot of responding and I think the challenge has been because for a lot of people out there, they see social media as essentially bill board. I think if they write something online, it is same as placing an ad in the paper and one of the thing that people don’t really appreciate is the social media is just a different way to create natural relationships and I think what I am seeing is this movement in the business community back toward what I call old fashioned kind of ways of selling and doing business. It is an old leverage. Social media hasn’t really changed that. it is just that there is new opportunity out there for us to deliver on the no like and trust in a different way and so I think certainly that’s what I have done and certainly the tone of the advice and marketing strategy that I am working with the clients is how do we leverage these new marketing channels to deliver back on what old fashioned relationships and kind of selling on value.
Mel: And when you say old fashioned, do you mean in terms of I guess more authentic or more personalized, what do you classify old fashioned?
Matthew: It is all of those things you know. So certainly authenticity counts and I think we are dealing with a lot at the moment is we got a lot of informed customers in our market and so kind of the salesmanship tactics, I think people understand what they being sold at and they didn’t like it which is why they don’t respond to it and which is why people aren’t seeing the results. So it is about authenticity and trying to create relationships and be hero of mind and there is a book called go giver and that’s very influential book for me personally but also one that I kind of use in this tone. It is all about you got what you want after you help your client get what they want. By looking for opportunities to create value for other people first and carry yourself and I think there is a real power in that. So that’s certainly influencing a lot in advice to my clients on how they execute all the marketing strategy.
Mel: I love it and I think that all comes back to whether people are in the right business for the type of person they are and whether they really on purpose and I think that comes much more naturally if you are in the right business and that just matches back to your values. So let’s talk little about old fashioned marketing, what does that look like? What is examples of things that you have been able to implement with your clients or your clients have implemented after you created your strategy with them?
Matthew: Okay. So if I use a professional service example, job number one is always awareness. How people become aware of who you are, what you do and the fact that you exist and you just kind of get away from that. in the past we used to have to kind of accomplish that through networking and a lot of people still kind of have networking events as one of their primary tactics but for those of us who are a little bit closer to things like social media marketing, there is a new opportunity there which is to get your name out there by creating some content and create content that creates value for other people. So one of my personal passion is education. I love teaching. I love mentoring people which for me is very similar and so when I am personally creating content, it is always with a view to saying what do I think people really need to know based on two or three or four weeks. What do I think people really need to start thinking about? I write a piece which is about how do I educate and how do I create some value and something out there that kind of consider take away and want to do something with? So that’s a really easy way for us to get our brand out there and so that the awareness goal is by creating content that has some value in people which is different to saying I launched a new product and just click on the link to read more about it because that’s not necessarily valuable for the retailer, that’s valuable for you. What people has become aware or you ticked off that awareness goal, then they need to go through their journey of this is something that is interest to me and how does it work and there is that customer journey which takes you through the interest and evaluation phase and again you can design that in such a way that it is all about the customer instead of being all about you and so if I am trying to tweak someone interest for example, what are the problems that they are actually trying to solve? What are the things that kind of causing them issues in their business or keeping them awake at night and how can I talk more about it and how can I create some more value which demonstrates that I actually know kind of what I am talking about or I can actually deliver some value in this space and if somebody wants to and someone say okay that is interesting but I am not quite a customer. Really want to understand more about and how do that work for me? Then how can I help them do that you know. Do I have a guide that I could use? Do I give people free trial or download? Do I offer to write out a quick report? What it is that they do to get their hands to you know? I think it is really important point in those phase of interest and evaluation is to let that authenticity come through again. So not just talk about what you do but a lot of how you do? There is real power in talking about what you are passionate about and proving not just saying and kind of demonstrating through customer stores and evidence and testimonials. At some point if you set those things together and you got a nice kind of elegant call to action, then you often say to people okay this kind of needs this source of needs and we would like to talk about how that would go further, that we love to have that conversation and here is some ways we can do that and inviting people to have sales conversation I think is really important. But it is something that a lot of people don’t do. They love them to deal with marketing but never at any point say look I really like to have conversation with you about how I could add value. Would you like to do that? That’s really important and you do actually have to get that when you ask a business.
Mel: This is simple as being really clear as in giving a specific time that you can talk about as a post to leaving that open or is there approach to do in there in a way that is not pushing but I guess as you are saying you have created all this other valuable content that they have consumed prior. What is your thoughts there?
Matthew: Well I think it has more to do with not trying to have that conversation early in the conversation. They get sales call saying hi would you like to meet for a cup of coffee which as I said customers are informed. It is too early in the relationship. You need to let them come to it and go through touch points and then just put the invitation out there saying this that if this makes sense to you and you think it would add value then I would love to meet with you and have a conversation. Let me know.
Mel: And that’s a really nice way out there you know. This makes sense to you and fits value to you. it is not a hard sale and I think that would be very comfortable approach to many business owners who as you say are fearful of like doing arms link as you say.
Matthew: Yeah and I think one of the real powerful things that I think that all business can do is even having been through you know you cycle of head taking through customer journey, you make that offer and that might still be too early for someone and so the way that I like to come to continue to know the relationship is personally I have put a diary note in the LinkedIn that has got a great reminder kind of system going and so 3 to 4 week time I actually put some time to that about that particular client and think about what is it that they are trying to accomplish? And based on what I know about them to date what I recommend or what insights I could share? Let’s send them a note saying I was just thinking about you and your business and some about conversations and I had these insights you know there is couple of other thoughts to come up since based on that. I think probably some things you could do moving forward would be x, y and z. if you like to explain more, happy to catch up and people really appreciate you genuinely thinking about their business. Contributes a little more value without putting hand up for catch up time and it is good way of investing in the relationship. It is a great way of demonstrating that you actually are interested in the outcomes.
Mel: Yeah as you say the go give support that you are talking about before. I like it. Now in terms of the work that you do, your customer journey mapping is big part of what you do is it? So is that what you initially start and then start mapping out how that’s going to look like?
Matthew: More recently I actually found that there is a really valuable step before that which is little bit of markets. I call it market sensing. There is a live version of market research which goes out and asks the customers you know to define their problem and solution and very lean start up kind of methodology but for all clients now, I actually start with them giving me the names of 5 or 6 customers and I have conversation of them and I ask them questions like how did you first find out about them? How did you get in contact and how did you get these people even exist? Which informs the marketing channel question. What is it that you think that they kind of deliver? If you are talking about them to a friend how would you describe the business? What is the value they deliver? Basically have a conversation on those sorts of lines what I find it does is it informs the businesses positioning in terms of what their target market really looks like, the problem they are really trying to solve and how they positioned rather to the competitor? What is their differentiator from the customer eyes? It is amazing how often customers tell a different story to the business owners.
Mel: I bet and I know you were talking earlier about creating content I mean half the content I expect would come from FAQs that the people you come regularly in contact with. That’s the stuff everyone else want to know. It is in your head to get out and yeah that must be fascinating. So quite the discovery for the business owner to realize what is for them that led them to purchase and continue to.
Matthew: Yeah and the other thing that it defines before you get into that, how do I start marketing my business is you got to be really specific about the message that you go out with. The message at your website, what does it say at the top? How do you describe your business? And the value to deliver and how it is different to competitors? Look because I think probably 90% of cases that I have come across, businesses don’t do that very well. They try to cover off too many bases, they try to describe their services too broadly the language that means something to them but doesn’t actually mean something to the customer.
Mel: Yes I have been guilty of that myself. It is a common mistake right.
Matthew: Definitely if you are going to get o nthe market actually you go in the market is with short message.
Mel: So could that be from those conversations that you are talking about? Those positives or the common reasons why people came to them? That could be a message going forward if it is still relevant for your business?
Matthew: Yeah and it should be. If people who already paid you have chosen you over competitors for reasons x, y and z to solve the problem a, b and c, guess what? That’s what you write in the brochure. Then you go in market for more customers to look like that and that has to be a place to start but so often I think people really struggle with this challenge of how I differentiate myself and my business from the people that I compete with? That’s the same sort of things.
Mel: Yes because I think most of us it is safe grown around and I think what you bought our attention to just there is having an actual conversation not necessarily just a survey but talking to people because then conversations go down to parts where people wouldn’t type into it on online survey form or whatever else. So you really can dealt into what it is that makes them buy from you time and time again. So I think I have done myself on occasions in the past where I have actually run people and I am sure your experience is the same and people are surprised that you inquire more and it develops this amazing I guess this generates more value in people that you care and tapping into new things I guess.
Matthew: Yes the conversations are very well received. I do find it is important to get a 3rd party to do it because the customers will have a different conversation. So the conversation they will have with kind of supplier. So find someone else to have a conversation on your behalf is I guess a lesson for them.
Mel: So is there a value in asking or having them? So you can get true authentic picture of how things sit?
Matthew: Yeah definitely. They need to go with full sorts of reasons. I think people say a lot more and are more honest and frank with an independent person.
Mel: Yes. So starting off with those conversations, getting that sense where the market is and what got them to where they are now, leveraging that in creating content of things that people find valuable and that is obviously driven sales, then you really map out the customer journey with them and look at those different touch points and then it is about putting into action. Is that the next step?
Matthew: That’s right. So the next thing is who is doing what and when and when this start and there is always prior to that one last piece complete out of planning and that’s about setting some targets because at the end of the day you also need to make sure that the marketing that you are doing is going to lead to the result that you actually need and you might need to change marketing strategy and I talked about it at that stage. In reality what I do with my clients is we actually have the targets conversations first. Even before I call the customers we do that because understanding what we are trying to accomplish and what we got to work with? What do we sell in and how many of that do we need to sell? That often changes the way you need to go to market types of opportunity that you want to peruse. I think example of just want to mentoring call last night with a really interesting couple of who were based in Melbourne, what we do was list out the services that they are trying to promote and understand the profit and effort required and then find the targets to achieve x over the course of the year, how many leads do we think we need to sell to kind of realize that outcome and do the number stack up? If we say for example that we need to sell 50 of this survey to reach that number? Is that realistic to you to the capacity?
Mel: Yeah once you sell it to support the role I guess is another thing too. So being specific on what those targets are is really key and then further to that whether it can be reasonable if it is a possibility.
Matthew: That’s right and once you understand that then really that’s what the marketing kind of campaign and the marketing strategy has to deliver and again so many going out kind of execute their market, they might be happy with the results but the results don’t add up to the outcome that the business needs to achieve. So you need to start with the target of the business model first.
Mel: And so in terms of tracking that marketing effectiveness I am guessing that it is extremely important in your eyes. Can you talk to us around that?
Matthew: Yeah definitely and it is actually a format that we developed in Microsoft where we use the marketing score card and it would really look at each stage of customer journey and we will track our performance at each of those stages in terms of let’s take the first stage that is awareness stage. How many people have we got our message in front of and we measure that through questions for example and so what is the number that we added and what is our conversion rate down to the next stage. So the next stage in your marketing water fall in interest which you measure by people visiting your website and staying on your website for 2 minutes as an indication of them reading and consuming a content. That’s conversion rate. Did you go from 5000 impressions down to 500 people at your website? That’s a pretty good measurement. So tracking that quantity at each stage of marketing waterfall is really good. Because you know which path is working and what you might be kind of straddle and you have something that’s called danger.
Mel: So for example you come across where you are not getting the interest. People are spending what you consider to be a reasonable amount of time consuming a content to help drive them to the sale then it is about looking at that specifically that sort of side step to re-integrate that part of process.
Matthew: Yeah that’s right. So it is the lead start-up language. What is the small little pipette that you might need to do? But the great thing is you only need to do it one stage at the marketing process. You don’t have to throw out the value and come up with a whole new campaign and that just tweak the content. Do we need to tweak the call to action?
Mel: And that’s how important to be measuring along the way right because otherwise you have no way of guessing and rather than throwing out the whole campaign you need to be able to identify specifically where the whole or gap is.
Matthew: The other thing that it allows you to do once you start-up is then you can also measure the cost per person acquired and the cost per conversion and once you got those benchmarks, tactics comes up and you get ad or whatever then you can evaluate it in terms of cost per benchmark. It was a good experiment but you don’t continue with it.
Mel: So I got to ask you Matthew for people listening today who don’t have a marketing person, perhaps they are doing that themselves, this might seem absolutely a necessity but impossible. What do you say in that instance?
Matthew: Yeah there is live version in this and what I would say to them and don’t have to boil emotion but the important thing is to at least come up with a large plan along these sorts of lines and if you are starting from zero, then you are sitting around the targets, it is specific around your positioning, make sure you got the message right that you are going to take out to market but then it doesn’t have to be perfect. It just have 1 that you can then implement consistently and this is where kind of good habits around just executional discipline come in so that every Monday I am going to do these and Tuesday this. Because to be honest most people who stuck is because of 2 reasons, one there isnt a plan, two they lose interest. It is just a really simple marketing strategy.
Mel: And can I tell you Matthew my opinion is that I guess in terms of traditionally running a business, the attention that you give all those other components of your business, this one is just as important because this is what drives your return business, this is what drives your new business. So it is the blood of what is going on in your business and so while it might be new and may be un-familiar it is really worth investigating time, learning or employing people who really do know about this in your business because it is going to allow you to scale. I think it is easily overlooked and we are all guilty and I know I am very guilty about that approach that you speak off. Definitely did that in my last business and learned along the way that it wasn’t an effective approach so yeah the measurability component is just powerful. So let’s talk about success stories you facilitate in terms of customer engagement Matthew. So really getting people on board and I think that conversation you were talking about was definitely one of those. Do you have another example?
Matthew: Yeah sure. So a client that I have been working with for little over a year now. This young web development. The company is called studio cultural. They defined their business purely in terms of web development. So building websites and along the theme of customer centricity, the early work that we did around all. Have this question that how did we differentiate? And what do the customers really want? What are they really trying to achieve? Basically I say to guys people might come to you but nobody wants websites. A website itself doesn’t do very much. What they really want is more customers and they think website is the way they are going to do that and as we know a website on its own doesn’t equal more customers. You need to feed the website. You need website to do certain things and you need that to follow on sales activities and so may be if we define the problem we solving as how do we help clients attract more customers through digital channels, then the service offering needs to be a bit broader and so let’s talk about how can we deliver that full solution to the customers problem and actually help them achieve that in the outcome of business. So to re-define the target market needs then allow them to differentiate so they no longer build websites. They are now about how do we help customers to drive them out through digital channels and then having to find that they are able to kind of re-allocate their services and add a little bit more into what they do and then take that board of message out to their customer and that’s really successful for them. That has more than doubled their business in the last 12 months and every time I catch up it is real pleasure, well done to those guys they have put in all the hard yards but really satisfying to see them take that on board.
Mel: Yeah I see them a lot more now on social media. They are doing online sales platforms or e-commerce platforms everything. Fantastic that’s excellent. It is having message writer as you say and making sure that you are clear on that to be able to stand out from the crows for sure. Now let’s talk about customer experience, personally for you and your business, what does that mean to you?
Matthew: It does mean different things to different people, for me and particularly about driving people and getting particular type of customer experience, it is about tuning into the expectations of the market exist today so for example we all have this expectation that we can transact online and we can find everything that we need to know online and everything that we on organization should be able to do and those are kind of fairly common customer expectation and if we don’t meet those basic expectations, it tends to reflect on our business. Maybe we are little old school or little out of day to fashion. So the hygiene factors, I think the bar or how we interact with customers has come up and we need to meet those basic customer expectations. That’s just to be competitive and kind of do as well as other people around of you. For the people who really want to take it further then, the question is how do you then delight customers through these sort of channels you know how do you make the whole customer journey delightful, easy, frictionless and may be a little bit fun or innovative and little bit surprising and we love remember the very first time for example of news ABAB in the mobile phone was absolute delight. We still like toys and buttons. It is not that we not matured enough, we are. The first time I saw that in mobile I was like wow this is really beautiful. Look at that image at the top and then I was just super impressed of how the experience was of searching and being able to see it on the map and being able to zoom in and click and see the details and then check it all straight away and it is just really quick and the challenge here I think for business owners and people who designing those product and services over reason is we are not often able to do that ourselves very well because we are just way too close to it. A client of mine that I just started working with last December, they had a product which is like an enterprise version of dropbox so ultimate security around sharing the files and great product designed 4 or 5 years ago and at that time it was great for what it did. But again the customer expectations have moved on in terms of what that user experiences like all the way from the sign up and the registration process. That make it really easy for me and say don’t ask the same questions and click too many times and all way to the use of the product and then recommend it to other.
Mel: Yeah I like that and I think the other is that’s why there is a value invader or pre-launched testing as well just to make sure that even though you are familiar with the feels that’s easy to you going to be eventually using as well because sometimes it is literally a case of it doesn’t work and I never touch it again. Now let’s finish up Matthew I got a couple of quick questions for you. Is there anything that you have read recently that has left you feeling really inspired and ready to leap into action of play?
Matthew: Yeah definitely. I am a big fan of Tim Collen work as well and his most recent book ‘great by choice’ I think is outstanding. It is on my recommended list definitely. It is leadership focused but I think people take different things. One of the things that I love about it is the spokes on discipline to execution. Tim Collen in his study of companies that outperform versus those who under-perform, one of the big things that companies out of findings of his is what he call smack recipe and 10 things that you just have to do day and day out because they drive the success to business and it talks to kind of disciplined action versus innovation that says that for the companies who are out-performed similar innovations there but you need to innovate just enough. You don’t need to pour everything into that. Actually what drives success more is understanding those critical ingredients that just drive performance in your business and just how disciplined execution on kind of doing that stuff day and day out and so l really like that book and my personal new year resolution is definitely big focus on what are the habits that drive success rather than being planning some of the amazing strategies.
Mel: Now what is something that you are working on or that’s coming up that you are very excited about?
Matthew: Yeah so one of the things that I am seeing and happening a lot with a lot of conversation in customers in the market or generally is where this all headed for my business? A lot of the work that I am doing is with people who are in there kind of mid 50s and they working there for a while and saying this is great but where did this all headed? Do I just stop working or I have nothing to show? So people are kind of turning their mind to how do I create this sort of outcome and in a lot of cases how do I make sure that we are leading the right sort of advocacy? Maybe I want my business to continue value in the market. So it is really satisfying to be a part of those conversations in helping business owners prepare for that because everyone defining success in different ways you know. In the past it used to be about how much I get paid for my business? But increasingly the conversation is becoming about well I want to reward key employees, how do I transition them in or make that possible or maybe passing on to family members and how do I make that a smooth transition. So being able to re-define success, PWC has done a little writing around this concept of new thing which get people to look after that as well and it is taking that broader view of what is successful client. So it is really looking forward to working with clients on that part of journey as well this year. That’s going to be an exciting thing.
Mel: It is easily overlooked but yeah such an important part I imagine as you go to retire or step out of your business. The most I guess in your heart you want to continue to have that success so making sure that all step down as seamless is just important. I have to get the link from you Matthew. I have to put that on show notes and would have been great for our listeners. You have been fantastic today. I have really enjoyed listening to you and talking to you about what you do and what you can doing in our businesses as well. Now if people want to follow you on social media and otherwise, where can they do that?
Matthew: Sure. I spend most time in LinkedIn. You can look me up on LinkedIn as Matthew Dunstan. You can also send me an e-mail directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for listening to the customer centric show. For additional smart ways to attract more customers, profits and freedom head over to the website www.customercentricshow.com.
New Opportunities For Old-Fashioned Customer Relationships
Matthew Dunstan was invited to be my guest on the show because he understands how easy it is for us to become caught up in working IN our businesses and, for whatever reason, not working ON our businesses, to grow and to do all those big picture things we originally set out to do. He understands the immense value that comes from creating and implementing a sustainable plan for growth.
Matthew is an author and 20 year veteran of marketing and product innovation, having worked for well-known organisations like the Australian Graduate School of Management and Microsoft where he was a senior leader for almost 10 years. Matthew is now a consultant and advisor at PwC, helping leaders and entrepreneurs navigate their path to growth, providing services to help deal with the challenges of leading and growing a business.
During my conversation with Matthew we talk about:
- Why and how a government organisation is his example of a customer-centric business
- How PwC’s is working with SME’s
- How relationships and referrals are key to business
- Why people have become disillusioned with social media
- New opportunities to develop old-fashioned customer relationships
- His stages for developing customer/client trust
- How to approach a sales conversation with confidence
- Personalised, valuable relationship building in business
- The power and value in third-party customer conversations
- Marketing scorecards to track outcomes
- How to deliver a superior experience with the help of existing customers; and
- The need to plan for a seamless business exit
Selected Links For This Episode
- The Next Rich info from PwC
- Matthew Dunstan on LinkedIn
- The Go Giver Book
- Great By Choice Book
“For all my new clients, I start with asking them for the name of 5 or 6 customers and ask them questions like, ‘how did you first find out about them?’, ‘what was the problem that you were trying to solve when you went out looking for these types of people?’, ‘if you were talking about them to a friend, how would you describe their business?’ ‘what’s the value they deliver?’. What I find it is that it informs the business’ positioning, what the target market looks like, the problem that they’re really trying to solve and how they’re positioned, relative to the competitor.”-Matthew Dunstan
An elegant approach to offer a sales conversation: “If this makes sense for you, if you think it would add value, then I’d love to meet with you and have a conversation”-Matthew Dunstan
“We have the targets conversation first because understanding what we’re trying to accomplish, what we’ve got to work with, what we’re selling and how many we need to sell. That often shapes the way you go to market and the types of opportunities that you want to pursue.”-Matthew Dunstan
“One of the powerful things that all businesses can do is to continue to nurture the relationship. I like to put some time aside in my calendar to think about potential clients and what it is that they’re trying to accomplish.”-Matthew Dunstan
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