Customer experience strategists named Telstra NSW Business of the Year

Media Release, 10 July 2013

Fifth Quadrant, a specialist consulting firm that develops Customer Experience Strategies (CXS) for executive teams in large enterprises and government agencies, was named the 2013 Telstra New South Wales Business of the Year in Sydney tonight.

The North-Sydney based business was initially established in 1998 by Dr Catriona Wallace and James Organ as a research and publishing business.

Today, it is one of the few strategic or analytics companies dedicated to customer experience, working across contact centre, online, social media, mobility, face-to-face correspondence and video customer interaction channels. Its strategies are aimed at increasing customer engagement, driving revenue, reducing operational costs and optimising operations.Fifth Quadrant has pioneered methodologies to improve customer experience including SocialServe, a model for social media channel strategy, and the Multi-channel Optimiser, a data modeling tool.

Dr Wallace believes that CXS is one of the most important strategies for an organisation.

“Our name refers to the fifth key strategic imperative in the board room, Customer Experience Strategy, which should inform and drive the four traditional strategies of finance, marketing & sales, HR and IT & operations,” Dr Wallace said.

“Customer experience should be a strategy and not an operational cost to the business. My team also believes that improving customer's experiences provides a greater good to society in addition to profit for organisations.”

Other winners included two Sydney-based advertising and marketing firms which are also helping to increase customer engagement. WiTH Collective, whose services focus on the intersection of technology, creativity and data, took out the Start-Up Business Award and Marketing Mechanics, a full service marketing and advertising agency that was launched from a kitchen table 12 years ago, won the Small Business Award.

Two premium producers and retail outlets in regional NSW were also named as winners. Coffs Harbour-based Wicked Berries, which produces and nationally delivers a range of gifts such as Belgian chocolate-coated strawberries, won the Micro Business Award while iKOU, a Blue Mountains producer and retailer of natural home grown skin care and body products, won the Regional Award.

Will Irving, Telstra Business Group Managing Director and Ambassador for the Telstra Australian Business Awards, said Fifth Quadrant was a great entrepreneurial business that had a strong position in the industry.

“Judges were impressed that Fifth Quadrant had diversified its services and developed strong marketing and strategic plans to allow flexibility and ensure business sustainability,” he said.

“The business has also generated strong and positive industry and community support due to its impressive leadership and great customer focus.”

The Telstra Australian Business Awards were launched in 1992 to recognise the achievements of small and medium businesses and to share their growth ideas and strategies to benefit the wider business community.

“We are thrilled each year to learn about businesses that innovate, persevere and thrive, even through tough economic conditions, and I encourage people in New South Wales to nominate businesses now for the 2014 awards,” Mr Irving said.

The winners of the 2013 Telstra NSW Business Awards, announced tonight at the Hilton Sydney, are:

Telstra NSW Business of the Year

Fifth Quadrant, North Sydney

Start-Up Award

WiTH Collective, Sydney
A digital agency that delivers data-driven marketing strategies with creative flair. Judges applauded the strong value driven nature of WiTH Collective’s products and said the culture and principles of the business were evident and formatted in line with its business strategy.

Micro Business Award

Wicked Berries Pty Ltd, Coffs Harbour
A producer and retailer of premium gifts for romantics and special occasions, including Belgian chocolate-coated strawberries, cake bombs and chocolate bouquets, Wicked Berries was launched in 2004 to complement an existing wedding cake business. Judges said it offered unique products and they were impressed that it was able to provide great national distribution, despite its regional location.

Small Business Award

Marketing Mechanics, Alexandria
While establishing her full service marketing and advertising agency in 2001, Diane Costa realised significant opportunity existed in the still immature area of digital. Core to the success of Marketing Mechanics today is the company’s commitment to innovation, customer service and its range of web design, digital marketing and social media marketing services.

Medium Business Award

Fifth Quadrant, North Sydney

Regional Award

iKOU, Blue Mountains
A Blue Mountains-based business that sells home grown skin care and body products, candles and organic herbal teas while also supplying some world-leading hotels and spas. Judges said iKOU was an outstanding regional business with exceptional reach. They praised its strong customer base, highlighting its high quality customers and corporate clients.

Winners of the Telstra NSW Business Awards will be judged against category winners from other states and territories in the lead up to the national Telstra Australian Business Awards to be announced in Sydney on 22 August. Winners of the 2013 Awards will share in more than $500,000 in prizes, which is split among state, territory and national winners.

For more information about the Award winners, or to nominate for the 2014 Telstra Australian Business Awards, visit the Telstra Business Awards website.