Episode 62: Alister Maple-Brown – Customer service excellence and becoming an employer of choice

“What we’re doing right now is to be able to provide groups of businesses as well as individual businesses some really rich reporting and insights into their data and that’s going to allow them to get some strong insights from which they can then make adjustments in their business, which is ultimately what the data is for.”

In this week’s edition of the Elevate podcast as part of our series, The Leadership Diaries, Samantha McLean talks to Alister Maple-Brown, CEO of Rockend, about excellence in customer service, becoming an employer of choice, what businesses should be looking for in moving to the cloud — as well as his own leadership journey, how innovation decisions are made — and what’s next for Rockend.

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Episode host: Samantha McLean
Special guest: Alister Maple-Brown


1.36 Rockend nominated for six CSIA Service Awards
1.50 Rockend recognised as Employer of Choice
2:26 Easy to say customer service is how to differentiate you from your competition but it has to become your DNA.
4:00 You need to help your people understand why they are doing what they are doing
4:19 “Customer experience is the ‘new’ marketing”
4:50 Why it’s important to recruit the right people with the right experience when you are scaling your business – particularly to get consistency in service and experience
5:15 Alister touches on a couple of the innovations that Rockend are working on within their applications. Small wins can lead to big wins.
8:48 Moving to the cloud: Why software itself is not the ‘silver bullet’ to fix all ‘process woes’ but moving to the cloud will let you communicate more effectively with your stakeholders as well as plugging into other world-class services (eg Xero, Mailchimp, Inspection apps and more)
10:52 “The cloud allows businesses to more closely cater to the changing needs of customers”
12:30 “No longer is it a situation where one provider has to do everything, that is long goneā€¦”

The Leadership Diaries
13:28 Alister’s first job and what it taught him
14:17 “Hospitality is a street MBA in customer service”
15:20 An absolute cracker of a tip from Alister on getting your team to meetings on time inspired by Patrick Lencioni
16:14 Which leaders have had a real impact on Alister’s leadership, why showing vulnerability and being a real human can create success
17:50 Where great ideas in Rockend come from, and how do you prioritise multiple great ideas?
20:33 Alister’s favourite question for a job interview: And why when someone says they are going to immediately ‘hit the ground running’ can be a bit of a red flag
22:00 The value of induction meetings
22:30 Getting new employees to understand the culture of the business; adopting values
25:25 Chapter 1 by Daniel Flynn (Thank you Group)
25:45 Alister’s leadership advice for new leaders.

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Samantha McLean

Samantha McLean is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of Elite Agent and Host of the Elevate Podcast.