The CMO Show:
Richard Spencer on Business Australia’s...

Richard Spencer, Customer Experience Officer (CXO) at Business Australia, talks to host Mark Jones about the customer experience, the challenges of creating a new brand identity, and how to stay relevant with new storytelling methods.

One of the greatest challenges marketers face in our rapidly changing world is staying relevant in the minds of customers.

How can well-established organisations – especially legacy organisations – adapt to change and improve the customer experience (CX)?

Previously known as NSW Business Chamber, Business Australia is a membership organisation offering “updates, advice & solutions” to Australian businesses.

According to Richard Spencer, Customer Experience Officer at Business Australia, understanding the needs and goals of your audience is an important part of providing long-term value.

“Quite often, the reality of running a small business gets in the way of passion. So it’s our job to focus on those secondary functional activities like payroll or workplace compliance to make the experience of running a business as easy as possible [for our members],” Richard says.

“Anything we can do to put time back into [our member’s] day, so they can use it more productively or spend time with their family, is a win.” 

In conjunction with its recent rebrand, Business Australia launched ‘The Company You Keep,’ a new podcast series in which Business Australia members share stories of starting, maintaining and growing their businesses – produced by Filtered Media.

“The podcast series is important because it explains to our members how other businesses have been able to get off their own back, using our help. It’s a learning exercise that is not about what we can do for you, but what you can learn from other SME owners that have been through the process,” Richard says.

“We want to take away some of the loneliness of running and operating a small business, and use the stories and passion of our members to encourage other people to have a crack at following their dreams,” Richard says. 

“If we can help any business get better at what they do, that’s a win for us.”  

Tune in to this episode of The CMO Show to discover how an 194 year old membership organisation is using storytelling to stay relevant in 2020.

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The CMO Show production team

Producer – Charlotte Goodwin, Natalie Cupac & Stephanie Woo

Audio Engineers – Daniel MarrTom Henderson & Jonny McNee

Got an idea for an upcoming episode or want to be a guest on The CMO Show? We’d love to hear from you: cmoshow@filteredmedia.com.au.

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Transcript

Host: Mark Jones

Guest: Richard Spencer

Mark Jones:

Emotion sits at the core of customer experience.

Give a customer a frictionless or positive experience in-store or online and they will associate your brand with that experience, and likely return. Fostering loyalty.

Give a customer a clunky or negative experience in-store or online and they will associate your brand with not being aligned with their needs or expectations. Fostering discontent.

Is your customer journey designed to elicit the right emotions from your customers?

Mark Jones:

Hello everyone! How are you? Mark Jones here. It’s great to have you with us again on The CMO Show. My very special guest today is Richard Spencer. He’s Chief Customer Experience Officer at Business Australia. Now Business Australia is an organisation that many of you would know – it was previously known as NSW Business Chamber. So they’ve had a rebranding.

And actually just a heads up that this interview with Richard was recorded back in February so obviously we don’t talk about the current situation that we’re in today.

But, this show is packed full of really useful information about rebranding and about customer experience so hopefully it will give you some respite from the topic and that Richard’s will reinvigorate your marketing practice.

And also, before we hear from Richard one more thing. Full disclosure – Business Australia is one of our awesome clients here at Filtered Media. We don’t often interview our clients, and so it’s really great to have Richard with us.

I wanted to just mention to you that our team was really proud to work with Business Australia on their debut podcast. It’s called ‘The Company You Keep’. And of course you can subscribe and download it from your favourite podcast app.

‘The Company You Keep’ features interviews with Business Australia members on what it takes to start, to grow and maintain a successful business. It’s got lots of great actionable insights in every single episode and it’s hosted by journalist Janice Petersen. Some of you might know Janice Petersen from SBS. So I do highly recommend you check out ‘The Company You Keep’ on your favourite podcast app.

We invited Richard on The CMO Show to share his insights on rebranding and how to tell compelling business stories.

Alright, so let’s go now to Richard Spencer, Chief Customer Experience Officer at Business Australia.

Mark Jones:

Richard Spencer, Chief Customer Experience officer at Business Australia. Thanks for joining us.

Richard Spencer:

Pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Mark Jones:

Now, this is your second time on the show, you’re actually one of the very few people who’ve done the second round.

Richard Spencer:

Oh, there you go.

Mark Jones:

We’ll get to Business Australia in a minute, but you have an interesting experience that I can certainly relate to in the marketing agency world. Many people in the, I guess the marketing agency media world will know you from Two Social, and Isentia. What’s the thing that’s inspired you in marketing? 

Richard Spencer:

For me, it’s always been about the results, and I think that guided my shift from brand side, to agency side, back to brand side. You get a completely different view of what you’re trying to achieve depending on which side of the table you’re sitting. Certainly on the brand side you get much more control, you get to see the end-to-end results in action, but you don’t necessarily feel like you’re right at the cutting edge of the creativity. Agency side, you get effective control over the results,  but you get less control over what you’re undertaking for your client because clearly you’re remote from what happens inside the brand.

Richard Spencer:

So shifting between the two is really interesting because you get to experience what everybody is doing around the table. I think you’re probably a better marketer because you actually understand what you’re asking your agencies to do. 

Mark Jones:

So having been in agency you become a better marketer?

Richard Spencer:

No question. You get a much more rounded view on how everything fits together, and how everybody in the chain is involved. And I think agency side, when you’re working with a client who’s worked in an agency environment, you tend to know quite quickly that you’re talking to somebody who appreciates what they’re asking you to do.

Mark Jones:

Yes. I’m really fascinated by your current title, which is chief customer experience officer because obviously you’ve had a CMO role before that, now you’re in this new place. What is it?

Richard Spencer:

It’s a really good question and I think that it’s tempting to say it’s the trendy new title for the CMO role, but I genuinely don’t think it is. So I think it encompasses a lot of that. I think it encompasses elements of what would have been the CTO or CIO role which now sometimes is your CDO role. 

Richard Spencer:

I think the CXO role actually cuts deeper into the relationship between organisation and customer, both inbound and outbound. And fundamentally they need to work through product service, customer service capabilities, the marketing communications and the digital delivery, but also closer to the sales and the delivery of operational functionality, to make sure that it’s the experience that we’re improving rather than just elements of that process. 

Richard Spencer:

So it’s all very kind of interrelated, but ultimately moving somebody from a limited understanding and awareness and experience of the organisation to where we can make them more successful is that experience journey effectively.

Mark Jones:

It’s interesting, the reason I wanted to begin talking about this is that I have wondered whether it’s some kind of nirvana role, right? In the sense that you speak about that journey and we have this kind of dream in marketing that we can unify sales and marketing, and that the customer is known from awareness right through to sale, and then even beyond, right?

Richard Spencer:

Yep.

Mark Jones:

 But you need to have a holistic view, strategy-wise, to actually make that work, not just sort of technically speaking. So  what’s the reality of trying to make it work?

Richard Spencer:

Interesting. And I think you’re right. I think it’s not just the juxtaposition of sales and marketing, it’s also where that conjoins and feeds into operational delivery. That’s a fundamental part of the experience for a customer. Whether that customer is a business or an individual. But I think it is trying to focus on the experience the customer takes away from the interaction, not just the interaction itself. And I think that’s the real difference. It’s where you’ve seen incredibly successful disruptions occur. Uber being one of the kind of better examples in that the experience is often significantly better than the experience of an alternative. So it’s not just the ability of going from A to B, but the experience from the booking through to the arrival, through to not even having to get your credit card out to pay for the A to B transition.

Mark Jones:

So the feeling of that experience is what hooks us in. So when you start talking about emotion, and feelings, and customer sentiment, unless you can put a number on those things, they’re not significant. 

Richard Spencer:

Yeah. And I think significance is interesting. I absolutely, 100% agree on emotion.  As a business to business marketer of old, emotion has been missing from business to business marketing everywhere in the world, and that’s something that at Business Australia we’re trying to reinvigorate. I think from an experience perspective, the best way I’ve found to describe trying to manage the process of experience and leave a positive memory with a customer or with an organisation, is if you try and think of the time when you’ve been out for an occasion meal. Anniversary, engagement, something.

Richard Spencer:

You’ll remember why you were there, you’ll probably remember where you were, you remember the ambience, you might remember what you drank if you drank something special, I almost certainly guarantee you can’t remember what you ate because what you ate is not the real experience.

Mark Jones:

The chicken or the fish?

Richard Spencer:

Exactly, quite right. Well, depends on where you’re at for dinner. But yeah, the functional delivery of why you were there, the food, is not what you remember. It’s the holistic experience, what you take away.

Richard Spencer:

 If you can focus on that element of whatever it is you’re doing for a living, and improve that element, then you’re fundamentally improving the experience that people will take away. In terms of measurement, it is how do you measure the effort. So one of the things that we’re instigating as an example, is we’re absolutely measuring NPS by point in time and by touch point, but we’re now also measuring how much effort as an organisation did you have to put in to become satisfied? 

Richard Spencer:

 How much you might’ve been satisfied, but how much did you have to put in to become satisfied versus what did we do for you?

Mark Jones:

How easy was it?

Richard Spencer:

Exactly.

Mark Jones:

It’s the easiness score.

Mark Jones:

Is there another example you can use to bring that to life in the context of Business Australia? I guess we should get a quick definition from you.

Richard Spencer:

Business Australia, as an organisation effectively exist to help other businesses get better at being in business.  We’re a membership based organisation, although it’s free to join. We look to see how we can help organisations improve their efficiency to effectively improve their margins, how we can help them be a better employer and also how it can help them grow if they want to grow. So it’s how can we help all kinds of businesses, but typically SMEs, go through a process that it makes them more viable, makes them better employers, but also helps them grow if they want to get there.

Mark Jones:

And your primary member would be the business owner?

Richard Spencer:

Well, the member is the organisation technically speaking, but you’re right, normally the person who creates that membership is quite often the business owner, or a founder, or a general manager.  We would also encourage other functional experts within those businesses to become contacts within their members. So again, we can help the finance manager in any particular area they might need help, or we can help the facilities manager with cheaper energy costs, or we could help the HR manager with better workplace compliance. So we can help across a wide facet of the organisational structure.

Mark Jones:

So then getting back to the experience, what does a good experience look like in that context for these business owners?

Richard Spencer:

Yeah, I think it probably then changes a little bit by some of those functional examples. So a really good example from a product delivery perspective might be the experience of running through a very simple energy comparison. I’ll give you the example of the Meals on Wheels service on the Central Coast, who did exactly that. Who went through a really simple process to compare what they were paying for electricity now versus what they might be able to get in an open market environment. And the process they went through with us, which was literally a few minutes on the telephone, saved them $11,000 per annum, which they were able to convert into 2,000 extra meals that they’re able to serve to their customers effectively on the Central Coast.

Richard Spencer:

So there’s a multilevel experience. Not just the fact that more meals get delivered, but it’s a relatively simple process to deliver back against that. But the experience is how simple can we make it?

Mark Jones:

Well, I think the experience was a couple of minutes on the phone is what you said.

Richard Spencer:

Yeah. So if we can make that easy to do, we can put time back in the day of the small business owner.  Small business owners typically are always short of time, there’s always something else to do. Anything we can do to make that process easier, anything we can do to put time back into the day of those particular individuals that they can use more productively or they could use to spend time with their family, we would see that as a win.

Mark Jones:

So in your role, you’re thinking about that experience, but you’re also thinking about how all of these inputs across marketing, sales, various executions that the business are  involved in all kind of tie together to a single point. You said ENPS, but is there some other metric that comes through from a sort of a dollar point of view? Or how do you get a sense of progress? What does it look like higher up the chain?

Richard Spencer:

Well, it’s interesting. Success for us looks like businesses get better at doing what they do and are more sustainable. And I mean the statistics on small business failures certainly in the early stages are all very high. I think upwards of 75% of businesses close inside the first 12 months. So how we make them more sustainable certainly in the early years, but also how we kind of tighten things up in the later years is where success comes fromVery few people get into business to run payroll, or to manage workplace compliance, or occupational health and safety, or to submit their BAS on time every quarter. They get into business because they love cutting hair and they want to open a salon, or they love the interaction with customers when they’re making a coffee in the morning and they want to run their own cafe, whatever that might be.

Richard Spencer:

But quite often the reality of running a small business gets in the way of the passion you had for your small business in the first place. So it’s our job, almost, to focus on those secondary functional activities that every business has to do to be in business, to make that as easy as possible, to make the experience of getting that done as easy as possible.

Richard Spencer:

 Anybody you talk to about that kind of thing that has run a business of any description nods because they understand that there are lots of things that you didn’t know about when you got into business that you now know about because you’ve been running a business.

Mark Jones:

I always say to people, you can get an understanding of what it might look like, but unless you’re in it, you don’t know how it feels. And there’s a huge difference between the two.  Knowledge of execution, how processes work, decision making, but there’s a feeling. And I think to that consistent point about experience, the feeling of running a business is being able to connect to that, and create a great experience, I think is really amazing. 

Richard Spencer:

Absolutely, and years ago now, I worked with a creative who decided to go on his own, start his own agency and that, has turned into a very successful business. But he phoned me after a couple of months and said, “I have to pay tax on my income.” I went, “Well, yeah, I know you do. That’s how the process works.” He’s like, “Yeah, but it’s my business.” I went, “Come and see me. I’ll take you through the basics.” And you don’t know what you don’t know, if you don’t know it, I mean it’s a-

Mark Jones:

Yeah. And that’s why you got to be around organisations like yours. I’m a big fan in finding out what you don’t know. Surround yourself by that. Now, let’s talk brand. One of my favourite subjects and yours, no doubt.

Mark Jones:

New South Wales Business Chamber is the former name of Business Australia.

Richard Spencer:

Yes.

Mark Jones:

And a quick caveat here too, is that we’ve had the pleasure of working with you on a podcast for Business Australia.

Richard Spencer:

Yes.

Mark Jones:

And so that’s been a great pleasure of ours. So I’ve got a bit of inside knowledge, but I am interested to hear from a brand perspective, what’s been going on behind the scenes? Why would you go from a legacy brand – NSW Business Chamber – that by all intents and purposes is doing really well, right? Why would you get rid of that to go to Business Australia?

Richard Spencer:

There’s an interesting series of conversations internally as I’m sure you will imagine. So NSW Business Chamber, or in fact, Business Australia now, has been operating for 194 years. So the organisation started as Sydney Chamber of Commerce back in 1826. So we are the second oldest continuously operating organisation – behind Westpac –  in Australia.

Mark Jones:

Amazing.

Richard Spencer:

So quite a significant challenge, it’s been a process, as you would imagine it’s taken about 12 months. We did a reasonable amount of research both internally and externally, but essentially what we found is that – for me – a brand should be a multiplier on the business model. And we were finding effectively that New South Wales Business Chamber wasn’t that for us. The geolocation of NSW, particularly in an environment where business is fairly borderless, actually put quite a distinct disadvantage on us being able to help organisations across Australia.

Richard Spencer:

And the concept of a chamber of commerce, or chamber, or a business chamber, brings to mind lots of images for lots of people in different formats because there are 12,000 of them all around the world and they all bring an image to mind for lots of different business people around Australia. And we didn’t want to be necessarily cast by that image, which is quite typically almost kind of Dickensian workhouse-esque, and grey haired old men smoking cigars on a Friday afternoon. And all of the things that kind of chambers of commerce kind of immediately bring to mind.

Mark Jones:

It’s evocative for all the wrong reasons.

Richard Spencer:

Yeah, quite and we don’t control it. So when a big part of your identity is actually controlled by 12,000 separate, independently owned organisations all around the world, you lose the ability to actually define exactly what you want to stand for. So, we’ve done is split the organisation into two parts, Business New South Wales and Business Australia. So Business new South Wales will continue to work with local state and federal governments. Specifically to help all organisations in New South Wales simultaneously. So how, from a policy and advocacy perspective, can we work with governments at all levels to help the lot of business in New South Wales?

Richard Spencer:

And Business Australia by comparison works almost one-to-one on a business by business basis with the owner, or the founder, or the general manager, to see how we can help them individually get better at what they do. And so that allows us to talk to businesses direct through Business Australia, take away the borders of being in New South Wales, and make our offer available nationally. And whilst Business New South Wales continues to advocate, and work on influence strategies for businesses domiciled in New South Wales.

Mark Jones:

So how long did that take?

Richard Spencer:

 The conversation has been going for a while as I understand. I’ve been with the organisation for about 18 months. It’s taken us about 12 months from very early conversations about what should the brand look like to a delivery point. So we’re now live in the market and that’s probably been bang on 12 months.

Mark Jones:

So for anyone else who is driving a brand campaign or a relaunch, rebranding, what have been your lessons on this journey so far? 

Richard Spencer:

The first thing is don’t underestimate how difficult it is. Even where there are some, relatively speaking, obvious deficiencies to a brand. And if your brand is decretive to your business model, that’s the first thing you’ve got to ask yourself. Is the brand acting as a multiplier to the business model? And if it isn’t, then that’s when you need to start having a think about why not. And it’s not necessarily about the identity structure, which may or may not be a problem, but it’s really about that brand proposition. If that is the case, then you need to start having a look at why that might be, and what you can do to fix it. And so that’s the kind of process we went through.

Richard Spencer:

What is difficult to underestimate is how emotionally attached to brands people become for a range of different reasons, positively and negatively. So it’s a hearts and minds exercise internally as much as it is externally. To take the organisation and customers on a journey that says, “We used to be this, we’re keeping some elements of our heritage, we’re losing some elements of our history. We’re becoming this, and this is why.” And that’s quite a lengthy process to go through. Even if you think logically, you’re going to look at it and say, “This is a really simple solution.” It doesn’t mean it’s going to be simple delivery.

Mark Jones:

Well, you’re not just creating a new story, you’re actually creating a new identity because that’s what the brand is. You’re talking about the multiplier effect, but it’s recreating in people’s minds a new idea.

Richard Spencer:

Yes, it is, which is where the storytelling comes in, and where the emotion comes in. And I think in a business to business environment that emotion is more often than not missing. Because we tend to get very factual and logical because we think we’re having a business conversation. We’re not, we’re still having a brand related conversation. Brand conversations are all emotion led. And particularly when you’re talking to small businesses. SMEs tend to buy more like consumers than they do enterprises. You’re talking to one or two people inside an organisation. That means that the emotionally charged elements of that conversation tend to carry more weight than if maybe you are selling into a decision making unit and enterprise. 

Mark Jones:

Which can be, as a quick example, I like this person, I trust this person, we’ll do it.

Richard Spencer:

Yeah. People still buy from people.

Mark Jones:

Right.

Richard Spencer:

So the storytelling element for us is not about, who are we? It’s about, what have we managed to do for other organisations to help them get better? So that’s why the podcast series that you’ve helped us deliver is so important that, and attached to lots of case studies, and stories, and videos that explain how other businesses have been able to get better off their own backs, using our help, using a combination of the two because that helps all SME owners understand that A, they’re not alone. B, they’re probably not the first person to go through the things that they’re facing. Although sometimes it’s quite a lonely exercise, and maybe you think you’re the first person ever to get a payroll tax bill. But it’s a learning exercise that is about not what can we do for you, but what can you learn from other SME owners that have been through the same process?

Mark Jones:

Yeah, and my experience has always been that it’s a cathartic experience. I’m not the only person. And the solutions might be obvious, but it’s that, “Ah, okay.”  So I think being able to provide that service while intangible is pretty much everything. It’s why people join groups, institutes, membership associations. 

Mark Jones:

I wanted to ask about the launch itself as well.

Mark Jones:

What have you done, what have been all the elements that you brought together to affect the change?

Richard Spencer:

 As much as the identity change and the brand change are huge changes for us, the real shift is in the fundamental business model of the organisation. So for 194 years in common with pretty much every other membership organisation in the world, we have charged organisations to be a member of ours. So we have looked for an upfront fee for membership, which brings with it a series of entitlements and privileges that you can use over a 12 month period. 

Richard Spencer:

But we have found increasingly in recent years that an upfront fee is a barrier to entry.

Mark Jones:

Yeah, it is.

Richard Spencer:

But it’s also starting to fly in the face of the way we, a society, like to engage with all kinds of services and organisations particularly. So we have shifted the business model away from an upfront fee to being a fee-free membership. But what you don’t get is all the entitlements and privilege you used to get in you’re kind of paid for insurance policy. [crosstalk] Yeah, its for a freemium model. Yeah, so that’s a huge shift for us from being an up front transaction, to being something where we want to say to every organisation in Australia, of which there are 2.2 million, “Come and be a member of Business Australia for free, and then let’s get to know one another over time. You get to use some of our useful advisory and supportive content. And then if you buy something, you buy something. If you don’t, you don’t. But if we can help you be better at being business, we’d be delighted to give that a crack.”

Richard Spencer:

That essentially allows us from a launch perspective to get a bit more mass market about things, and reach out to as many different organisations we can around Australia. So there’s a more significant ATL brand building component to that. And then there’s obviously more of a performance piece that’s designed to encourage people to actively join for any particular given reason. But we’ve got-

Mark Jones:

So the initial drive is around membership?

Richard Spencer:

Yeah. Well, awareness of Business Australia for the launch and feeding through into membership. And then what we’d like to do is get to know those members over time, get to understand a little bit more about their organisations and see where we can help. 

Richard Spencer:

We have an award winning employment law firm as part of the group. We’re able to make available for free membership a call to that team of lawyers to solve any problem that might have with a particular employment issue. So again, there’s a very clear and present need in any particular organisation, in exchange for some basic details to create a free membership. We’ll put you in touch with a lawyer to see if we can help with that.

Richard Spencer:

And that’s very mission-centric for us.  If we can help any business get better at doing what they do, that’s a win for us.

Mark Jones:

That’s awesome. Now, with the campaign, how did you approach it from an integrated perspective? What was the strategy that you employed to launch across all the different media channels?

Richard Spencer:

Yep. So we worked with a couple of partners as you would imagine, Slingshot had been a media partner and they’ve done an excellent job in that. And an organisation called Six Black Pens have been working on the creative. Those plus a couple of other agencies have worked very closely with our team to work out the best way to kind to deliver that go-to-market strategy. And for us, it’s also about how we are converting too. So it’s a launching one, but it’s converting another. So we’re converting New South Wales Business Chamber to Business New South Wales, and we’re launching Business Australia as a new proposition.

Richard Spencer:

So there’s a bit of a two sides of the coin element to the campaign for us as well. But we’ve worked quite closely to try and determine how we convert mass market awareness into delivery to the website, which is the action to create free membership. And look to see how we can do that largely speaking through a storytelling basis. So the whole strategy realistically has been content led. How do we make what we do effectively secondary to what we’ve been able to do for other organisations? How can we help you? How can we help your organisations?

Richard Spencer:

So before we’d launched the new web presence, in common with many organisations, our website was all about us. What did we do? Who did it? Who was on the board? 

Richard Spencer:

 There’s very little of that on the new site, which is all about how can we help you solve a business query? Because in common with most of us, most small business people, if they don’t know something will turn to Google. If somebody had Googled, “What is payroll tax?” two weeks ago, we wouldn’t have been there finding the answer for them. If they Google that query today, we’ll be there explaining what it is, how it fits together, and how those rates vary state by state, and territory by territory across Australia.

Richard Spencer:

So it’s really about how can we, as easily as possible, solve as many problems, maximise as many opportunities as we possibly can for as many small businesses around Australia by simplifying that process. We’d love to be omniscient with regards to business queries online. I mean it’ll take us awhile, but that’s our aim to be the go to domain authority for any business query online in Australia.

Mark Jones:

Getting back to the sort of the emotional angle, and you mentioned the storytelling and I guess I’m still thinking about how we bring all of this together. What’s the emotional hooks you’re looking for to drive that interest?

Richard Spencer:

The real emotions are the passions of the business people we work with. And one of the most rewarding parts about my job actually is getting out, particularly into regional Australia, and meeting people who run and operate businesses. And have done either for months or have done for years. And hearing about their stories and really understanding the passions that they’ve got in play. And some of the stories of how people have started businesses are just fascinating. We want to bottle as much of that as we possibly can. Again, take away some of the loneliness of running and operating a small business. And also use those stories in that passion to encourage other people to have a crack at following their dreams.

Richard Spencer:

I’ve said to a number of people over the years that if you’ve got a itch to start business, you’re going to have to do it because it’s not going to go away unless you give it a crack. And there are hundreds of thousands of businesses started every year in Australia. We’d like to do is make as many of those more sustainable or as sustainable as we possibly can by using the passion and the emotions of people who’ve been there before, to really help people understand what’s ahead of them.

Mark Jones:

I’m really encouraged. If it’s in you you’ve got to do something about it, right? 

Mark Jones:

So that’s fantastic. Well, what’s the rest of the look like then for Business Australia?  How are you thinking about what you can do to support businesses, particularly small to medium businesses in Australia? 

Richard Spencer:

Look, I think there are a number of concerns in a number of different areas. And I think, as a mission based organisation, one of the things that’s most important to us is to try and help every organisation we can through thick and thin. Our job is to help organisations through every stage of the life cycle, including exit. And that exit may be uncomfortable for business owners. It might be something they’re celebrating. But either way, if we can help them through that process that’s something that we would consider to be extremely mission-centric because it’s important that we help all kinds of businesses at every stage of the life cycle.

Richard Spencer:

So if there are any storm clouds ahead in the economy, how we help organisations understand what they can do to navigate some of that, how we can help them understand what their options might be with regards to easing cashflows concerns. How we can help them think about how they might structure or restructure to manage their ability to trade through a downturn, or to trade through a crisis, or to try through a bushfire disaster. Then we would consider that to be absolutely mission-centric for Business Australia.

Richard Spencer:

Business New South Wales, at the same time we’ll be seeing how it can work with local, state and federal governments to advocate for things that may help and may support those organisations in fire affected areas, or drought affected areas, or those that might be affected by COVID-19. But that split between Business New South Wales helping drive a policy and advocacy position versus Business Australia looking to see how we can help individual businesses on the ground in any given set of circumstances is how we’re looking to try and, if you like, work both a government angle and also a business to business angle.

Mark Jones:

Yeah, absolutely. It’s really encouraging to hear how you have approached the emotional and rational aspects of changing a brand, and developing a very well-rounded, cohesive approach to the whole thing.

Richard Spencer:

Thanks, Mark.

Mark Jones:

 It’s been great to have you back on the show. Richard Spencer is the chief customer experience officer at Business Australia. Once again, thank you so much.

Richard Spencer:

Thanks for having me.

Mark Jones: 

Hey that was Richard Spencer. I really hope you enjoyed it, I certainly did!

So good to have him on the show for the second time to talk about customer experience, rebranding, and staying relevant by trying different storytelling methods like podcasting. Who knew!? Podcasting is a thing. On that note, make sure you do search for Business Australia’s podcast  “The Company You Keep” on your favourite podcast app and subscribe. It’s a fantastic show full of great insights.

Reflecting on my conversation with Richard, I liked hearing about Business Australia’s approach to the customer journey, and the brand’s commitment to making the customer experience as easy as possible by actively listening to member needs and adapting to them. Of course we need to be customer-centric, don’t we? More so now than ever, I think.

I also liked his take on emotional storytelling in the business environment, you know where we tend to get very factual and logical over time, and we can forget that ‘people buy from people,’ and we can’t lose sight of this emotional component in decision making. It’s a really really important thing to always remember as we develop these campaigns in these times.

So there it is, I hope you got a lot out of the conversation with Richard, and if you liked what he had to say, go and have a listen to Episode 20 of The CMO Show from back in 2015. Can you believe that? A little while ago now! A blast from the past where Richard talks about the force of social media for business. 

Of course it’s always great to get your feedback and guest suggestions and topic ideas. You can email us at cmoshow@filteredmedia.com.au, and check out our website at thecmoshow.filteredmedia.com.au. You may not know this but we have more than 100 episodes you can listen to, so go back through the back catalog, download them all and have a listen. There are some fantastic insights that have been collected over the years. As always, subscribe on your favourite podcast app. 

Okay so that’s it once again for this episode of The CMO Show, it is so great to have you with us. I encourage you to stay safe and we’ll see you next time.

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