creativity

Adapters: Perth Business Captivate Connect Keeps Customers Calling Globally

Captivate Connect Mark Horwood

Captivate Connect Mark Horwood

Perth-based company has revolutionised the dreaded 'on hold' experience by developing new technology that transforms call wait times into payday time.

Mark Horwood, chief executive officer of Captivate Connect, compares being on hold as akin to waiting for luggage at an airport. “There’s nothing you can do but stand and wait.”

His company, now run from modest offices in Burswood, stunned the corporate world in 2002 by offering daily news, sport and weather information to callers on hold.

“Commercially, it was very successful for us. The technology was internet-based to help accommodate the immediacy of updating the daily news and sport,” Mr Horwood said.

Captivate Connect is now inspired by internet multimedia technology and once again is refining the “on hold” experience; this time for mutual enrichment of callers and businesses.

The company sponsored a website called Horrible on Hold to determine exactly what people disliked about waiting on hold. There was an overwhelming response that it’s generic, repetitive and boring.

“This wasn’t anything new to me,” Mr Horwood said, “but how can we play audio everyone will be happy with? We give them the choice.”

Music not your thing? Perhaps a quiz or a podcast may be more up your alley. Globally, this interactive-on-hold has never been done before and there’s no-one else who can do it, he says.

Callers become immersed in the business, causing these callers to become loyal brand ambassadors, relaying their experiences to friends and associates – in turn, boosting sales.

“The only way to win word-of-mouth referrals is by delivering an experience that exceeds expectations,” Mr Horwood says.

Interactive-on-hold collects caller data. A caller being directed to the sales department can be offered a brochure on any new/best-selling products. The Caller opts to receive the brochure by entering their number, it is then sent via text and, in return, the sales team effectively gathers the caller’s details to follow-up.

After two minutes, callers are invited to leave their name, number and reason for calling to receive a call back. This costs as little as $1. Mr Horwood believes businesses employing more than 20 people would readily pay $1 to retain a customer.

Statistics suggest that, within five years, 68% of all business transactions will involve the human voice – down from today’s 72% – but the importance of these transactions will become more valuable.

“Fax is virtually redundant, snail mail doesn’t work, and trying to get anybody to respond to emails is like pulling teeth, which is why we’re seeing a shift back to phones,” Mr Horwood says.

Visit www.captivateconnect.com to find out more.

This column is part of the Adapters series produced by Perth Media. It profiles Perth Media small business and not-for-profit clients exclusively.

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Adapters: Perth Businesswoman Tanya Finnie Launches Cultural Intelligence Magazine

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Awkward working relationships that can destroy careers or damage productivity are the subject of a new magazine, Cultural Times, published by Perth businesswoman Tanya Finnie.

She identifies the causes of interpersonal blunders in places of work and measures their unwanted consequences for individuals and company bottom lines.

“The old golden rule is to do unto others how we would like to be done to ourselves – but that’s absolute rubbish,” Ms Finnie says. “The platinum rule should be to do unto others as they would like to be done to themselves.”

Put simply, it is illogical for a tea-drinker to assume that another person will also like tea. Logically, a tea-drinker should first discover the other person’s preference.

Yet that misjudgement, no matter how well-intentioned, can be the first in a series of errors that accentuate divisions between people who are meant to collaborate.

Brilliant careers in leadership can stall if aspirants ignore the demands of an increasingly diverse population pulled together by immigration.

Ms Finnie’s company, RedHead Communications, specialises in cultural intelligence (CQ), a new field of study dealing with our capability to deal effectively across different cultures. A culturally intelligent person is aware of others’ backgrounds but, more importantly, adjusts their behaviour in multicultural situations.

“Australia has the world’s highest proportion of migrant settlers in a developed nation,” Ms Finnie says. “A quarter of Australians (27 per cent) was born overseas, and almost half of Australian households (46 per cent) had at least one parent born overseas.”

In February, Australia’s top trading partners were China, Japan and South Korea. “It will therefore be great for our economy if we learn to adapt our cultural behaviour,” Ms Finnie says. Better collaboration and a happy workforce are associated with increased productivity.

Minority status is not confined to ethnicity. Generational, organisational and LGBTQI factors are relevant, too. Sometimes different professions in the same firm can clash because of opposing cultures.

Ms Finnie’s new magazine, Cultural Times, addresses all these issues. It is published online, and a hard copy version is planned for a gala launch next month – May.

The first issue tells how a woman became Australia’s youngest engineering executive. There’s a moving story about how one man overcame adversity, and advice on building cultural intelligence.

Ms Finnie is a keynote speaker and is starting a doctorate at the University of WA that aims to gauge the impact on the workforce if the cultural intelligence of engineers is increased.

She worked in several countries – including South Africa, Mauritius, Germany, Morocco, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Swaziland – before settling in Australia 15 years ago. She advocates blind CVs, where a person’s name is erased from a job application so that selection is based mainly on merit.

“It’s too easy to chuck out names you can’t pronounce,” Ms Finnie says.

See: Cultural Times Visit: RedHead Communications

This article is one of many which have featured in 'Adapters', a series exclusively for Perth Media clients, profiling news of innovative small businesses, start-ups and not for profits in WA Business News.

Series of Cracking Films for Australian Vanadium

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Perth Media’s film for Australian Vanadium’s Pre Feasibility Study for the Gabanintha Vanadium project in Western Australia. Editing by Courtney Waller.

Perth Media Adapters: Business Strategist Wendy Davies Joins Nexia in Perth

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More columns, written by Perth Media, are being published in WA Business News. Here is one of our favourites.

Nexia Australia has recently appointed Wendy Davies as a business advisory director in its Perth office to focus on strategic advice for small and medium businesses.

Ms Davies, who is originally from the UK, brings with her a range of high-level global experience. In WA, she is at the forefront of a new, innovative approach to accounting – a profession that can no longer rely on simply formatting tax returns.

In the Perth office of Nexia Australia, Ms Davies is offering bespoke advice to small and medium enterprises with annual turnover between $1 million and $20 million.

She works closely with start-ups and owners of small to medium-sized businesses, helping them understand and demystify the numbers side of the business. “It’s about identifying client needs – often focusing on cashflow forecasting and budgeting to help them manage and make informed decisions,” Ms Davies says.

Independent specialist advice can highlight opportunities not immediately apparent and potential problems can be foreseen before they are critical.

As Nexia’s business advisory director, Ms Davies visits clients’ operations, to educate and empower the owners. It is a new field for senior practitioners who have witnessed shrinking tax return work. “Technology enabled business owners and bookkeepers to do more, so those of us with accounting skills have had to adapt and innovate,” she says.

Ms Davies began her career 30 years ago in south-east England. After qualifying, she worked for a small practitioner in the northern city of York and bought him out when he retired. Her clients have the bonus of engaging the services of a former businesswoman. For over a decade in England she co-owned the accountancy practice which had 10 staff.

Her attendance at a migration expo in the UK led to an unexpected job offer in accounting in Perth. She flew to Perth in January 2008.

Here she became the only female director in the Perth office of her new employer UHY Haines Norton, a member of the global accounting network, UHY. She once again found herself as the only female director when the firm merged with rival Moore Stephens WA.

Ms Davies believes networking is key to ongoing success in her profession.

“In the past, the sector has been fairly complacent but a network of key business relationships will be critical to ongoing success, both personally and for the firm,” she said.

Prior to joining Nexia last month, Ms Davies had started a new firm, The Counting Room, to execute her advisory approach. “Before I joined Nexia, I made sure their values and approach aligned with how I saw the future of accounting, which includes advisory work and utilising softer skills to assist clients,” Ms Davies said.

In Perth, Nexia Australia is Western Australian owned and independently operated and a member of the global accounting giant Nexia.

This column is part of the Adapters series produced by Perth Media. It profiles Perth Media small business and not-for-profit clients.

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Perth Media Expands Team, Client List and Opens New Nedlands Office in Perth

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PERTH: Media content and public relations firm — Perth Media Pty Ltd — has opened a new office in Nedlands in line with continuing expansion plans.

The development is the latest news in a series of organic growth milestones for the Perth-based small business.

Perth Media managing director Cate Rocchi said: “Perth Media has, to date, been a small operation but we have consistently built powerful global profiles for our clients through tailored integrated media and communications services.

“We act in an advisory, creative and media service capacity and have a strong network of journalist and broadcast partners and connections, so are uniquely placed to deliver global-standard media management services in the sectors of finance, mining, renewables and agribusiness.”

Perth Media was established in 2015. It rebranded from Cate Rocchi Communications which began in 2011.

Major clients include: resources companies Australian Vanadium (ASX:AVL), VSUN Energy and Bryah Resources (ASX: BYH); urbi; Partners in Grain; and Rockcliffe winery.

The Perth Media team now includes editor/writer Torrance Mendez (formerly of The West Australian).

“Our team — which has welcomed high calibre artists, photographers, former reporters and film makers — produces some of Australia’s best, most consistent media content for corporates,” Ms Rocchi said. “It has taken many years to assemble productive working relationships with such a talented and professional group. We have also been careful to grow our business conservatively, so quality has remained excellent.”

Perth Media values include: staying true to the principles of integrity, authenticity and clarity; continuous improvement; and innovative thinking.

“We remain focused on improving media outcomes for our clients and enjoy the challenge of mixing social and traditional media as we embrace the communications of the future,” she said.

The company’s current list of services are: script/copy writing, investor relations management, content creation, blogs, photography, videography, social media strategy and delivery, infographics, strategic media advisory and support, campaign research, publicity, global TV, radio and press coverage, media training, CV writing and speech writing. Packages are available.

“We know how to achieve publicity and we will give clients authentic advice on which stories and media services they need to reach their customers,” Ms Rocchi said.

Perth Media Pty Ltd is now located at 47 Hampden Road, Nedlands, Perth. For the next four weeks (until November 15, 2018) the company is hosting some rarely-available media release writing sessions ($350) and media presentations, by appointment. There are only eight slots available. Terms and conditions apply.

There are other key developments ongoing such as a website rebrand, which will be launched in 2019.

Contact

Cate Rocchi

0428431699

cate@perthmedia.com.au

This story has also appeared in Perth Media’s Adapters column that features in Western Australian Business News.

This story has also appeared in Perth Media’s Adapters column that features in Western Australian Business News.




Why staff aren't embracing their firm's social media, talking to Google and targeting Gen Z? Emergence Creative Festival 2018 Top Take Homes

Mat Lewis on Top of Emerging Creativity in Margaret River, Western Australia, last week.

Mat Lewis on Top of Emerging Creativity in Margaret River, Western Australia, last week.

1.   Making the World a Better Place. Many of the world's best and brightest creatives are focused on making money but also making the world a better place, proving profits and good deeds can mix. Perth-based social media marvel Ming Johanson has a checklist for new projects. 'Does it serve me, others, my business, and the greater good?' Speakers assisted a staggering number of charities. Jimmy Niggles from the Beard Season, US-based Justin Gignac from Working Not Working, were two who have donated extraordinary amounts of time and effort to great causes.

2. The Google guys from Tokyo, Tim Sneddon and Gene Brutty, (originally from Perth) rocked. Their 20 slide presentation in 20 minutes with gems such as 'uncomfortable is good, stay there' and 'waiting is for the lazy' was only topped by their Artificial Intelligence workshop, with kits. Awesome, inspiring, learnt so much.

3. The gen below the millennials/Gen Z are are into fun, says Neil Ackland of Punkee Media. They  are often watching video without sound, and looking for short/mashable/home-made/funny/quirky clips about random stuff that doesn't have to matter or mean something. Punkee is hiring super young, clever creatives that can write, shoot and edit, at a fast pace. If brands want to target the kids, then make it fast paced and random/funny.

4.  Lightbulb moment. Why aren't staff of the companies/organisations Perth Media works for embracing social media of their employers? Well, aside from the fact it could be crap. 'Because they have their own personal brand, and they don't want to link their brand with your company/organisation because they don't want to hang around for long,' says Perth-based Ming Johanson, who tells it how it is.

Ming Johanson generously shared social media wisdom

Ming Johanson generously shared social media wisdom

 

5.   Mat Lewis, Erin Molloy and team at Emergence are seriously good at what they do. The room was filled with exceptional global talent, including Chloe Rickard (Jungle Entertainment who just produced ABC's Squinters); international photographer Sam Harris; music industry lawyer Fran Cotton; Phil Bonanno of Facebook and many many more. Unbelievable line-up all in Margaret River. Really, this festival exceeded expectations.

6.  AI as a tool,  linked with google, has a long way to go, but it is coming. It wasn't too clever in demos, but it successfully answered qus about the weather. Lots of ramifications. IE clients can ask google what it thinks of their company. Here is our CEO Cate putting AI Google kit through its paces.

Putting the AI kit together to talk to Google

Putting the AI kit together to talk to Google