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For anyone who has heard me speak (and I spoke this week at the SME event hosted by ABL) you know I love to share the story of it is up to us as marketers to give customers something worth saying.

I tell of when RedBalloon left home (that is when we stopped being a home based business ? I had nine people in the front room and it was time to go) This was in early 2003. (This is the fact that I omitted to mention). At the time because RedBalloon was such a small business we struggled to get support with the move.

I go on to say how the Telstra business awards were great for us getting ‘noticed’ and how clever of Telstra to discover who is up to what in SME land. (The awards form has formed part of our induction for new employees for instance.)

Because of the awards, this has given me the opportunity to meet many and various people from Telstra.

I experience Telstra as a very different organisation now, and this is the bit that got missed out of the presentation on Tuesday. In fact, I did not finish the story of how we experienced the move last year.

Compare the experience of the first move in 2003 to April 2006 – completely different. I’m sure there is some flag on the Telstra system that says we entered the awards because we have an account manager assist us – and they did a spectacular job.

But it is more than that. I was asked for my input on how Telstra could connect more to small businesses. I remarked that where I believe smaller businesses are going to get the greatest leverage is through technology and communication innovations. And that as a business owner we often struggled to see what opportunities are available to us. When I was at Apple a long time ago we had evangelists who would talk ‘into the future’ of technology and that is what we are looking for from our telco’s education.

Imagine how pleased I was to be included at the launch of NextIP to hear about what tools are available to us for near future innovations.

Telstra just is nothing like the organisation that we were dealing with in 2003. If it has changed so much in just a few years I’m excited by what the future holds.

I wish I had been asked the question in the presentation, ‘So how do you experience Telstra now?’ Then I would have remembered to finish the story. Though I suspect the story is just beginning.

Reader Interactions


  1. It’s interesting to hear someone else’s take on Telstra. My husband works in a relatively high end technical position that was created only a few months ago. He was previously with the state government and his experience dealing with both organisations is quite interesting.

    When we previously had contact with Telstra we found it was a slow, cumbersome creature that was resistant to out of the box ideas and any real amount of input from clients. Now it’s a completely different beast. My husband is constantly getting asked what he thinks needs to be done to improve his area of operation and what Telstra can provide him with to help him achieve what he believes to be in the best interest for the group. I’ve never seen him so happy, and I’ve never seen an employer so proactive in the development of their business, their culture and the development of individual staff. My husband is constantly being offered training opportunities and opportunities for personal development which is greatly appreciated and put to good use.

    He’s often asked where he works and what often follows is an endless stream of criticism. Telstra sure has it’s faults – it’s inability to provide our home 30km out of the Melbourne cbd with adsl is definitely one short coming – but it’s truly a great Australian business. There is constant change being driven from the top with an emphasis on improving the data network for all of Australia and they’re facing many battles at the moment with various bodies who are standing in the way of a much better future for our nation. In only a few months we have gone from being highly critical of Telstra to blown away by the developments that are taking place there. I really wish this was more widely publicised as I believe the public has no idea what or who Telstra really is. Although I think with a change of Government the public will find out what Telstra is capable of very soon.

  2. At the risk of appearing negative, I’ll tell our potted story, mainly because I’d love Telstra to take notice and rather than do things out of the box for small businesses – just deliver on the promises.

    Four moves in four years – home and home business.

    Three out of the four we have had 2 -4 days where the business was out of contact with customers because phones and ADSL couldn’t be transferred over, or people were assigned to a job, confirmed that they were coming but never turned up. In this day and age, this is almost negligence.

    In our last move it was almost ridiculous – three people offered to waive the connection charge – wow said my husband, we’ve already been offered that yesterday, what we really want is our connection. But to put the icing on the cake, two months down the track the charge has shown up in both bills and we are still tussling with Telstra accounts to have it removed.

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