“The more engaged our employees are the more empowered they are to do a better job for the customer,” he explains.
“The people who do best and stay the longest have a burning passion to make a difference. Attracting, developing and retaining talent is the key to our success.
“Our overarching approach is to bring together our employee value proposition and our customer value proposition as tightly as we possibly can.”
Macquarie Telecom provides data, voice, mobile and co-location services to mid-market corporate clients and the not-for-profit sector. It is one of four business units in the ASX-listed Macquarie Telecom Group, which also includes Macquarie Cloud Services, Macquarie Government and Macquarie Data Centres.
Last October, Macquarie Telecom Group won two prestigious awards in the annual World Communication Awards: Best Customer Experience (CX) for its Heartbeat program and CEO of the Year for David Tudehope, described by the award judges as “the most customer experience focused CEO [we have] ever seen”.
“The Heartbeat program encourages Macquarie’s entire team to delight customers and literally do the opposite of industry counterparts,” the judges reported.
Macquarie Telecom Group chairman Peter James says the customer experience award “provides a shining example of an Australian company setting the bar for outstanding customer service”.
“David [Tudehope] and Macquarie have always placed customer service experience at the centre of decision-making, from product releases, to staff hiring profiles, to staff incentives,” James says. The key measure of the success of Macquarie’s customer focus is the net promoter score (NPS), an index ranging from minus-100 to 100 that measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company’s products or services.
A score of greater than 50 is considered excellent and Macquarie’s NPS currently sits at 76. At the time of collecting its World Communication Award gongs, Macquarie’s 71 NPS was praised by judges as “world-beating…at the same level as Apple and Amazon”.
“We ask our customers to measure us every day by using the simple and powerful NPS question, ‘How likely is it that you would recommend our company to a friend or colleague?’.We changed the transparency of NPS so that everyone internally and externally can see how well we are serving our customers on a real-time basis. We think it is a world first to share this,” Clifton says.
“Having our customers score us on our service transformed us. We changed our systems and processes; we changed our people-hiring profile and we changed our bonuses to be based on our NPS score.
“We empower staff to go above and beyond to achieve great customer service and they do that every day.”
To foster an inclusive and engaged workforce, Macquarie engaged analytics firm Gallup to run its Q12 employee engagement survey – based on the 12 needs that managers can meet to improve employee productivity and engagement – and the Clifton Strengths (no relation to Luke) assessment tool to determine what each employee does best and how to develop those talents into strengths.
“We provided employees with facilitated training to understand their strengths and how to leverage those strengths as a team,” Clifton explains.
“Employees are more aware of their strengths and managers use strengths-based coaching to take what they are inherently good at to the next level. Concentrating on what each employee does well and leveraging each other’s strengths has led to greater collaboration and improved performance company-wide.”
Macquarie Telecom has spent almost 30 years perfecting its culture of collaboration and service ethos. This proved vital during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
“When we went into lockdown last year we were able to draw on the culture we had built and the human capital we had invested in. The collaboration and connectedness that was such a necessary part of making it through lockdowns for many businesses came easily for us because we had been on that journey for some time,” Clifton says.