Adam Turner
Technology Journalist

Adam Turner is a Sydney Morning Herald senior technology columnist who has been writing about the challenges facing Australian business for more than a decade

Adam Turner
Technology Journalist

Adam Turner is a Sydney Morning Herald senior technology columnist who has been writing about the challenges facing Australian business for more than a decade

Operating from Victoria’s second largest city, Geelong, with a second office in Werribee, Roderick Insurance Brokers delivers personal and corporate insurance services. Over the last three decades the business has grown into one of the largest regional brokerages in Victoria.

Keith Roderick started the Roderick Insurance Brokers in 1986 and, according to his general manager, Marnie Shepherd, had an idea of how people should be looked after with their insurance. He wanted to offer something different to what other people were doing at the time. The opportunity arose for Keith to take over a second business, so he did.

“It’s about service, going above and beyond what is expected when looking after a client,” Marnie states.

To continue delivering a great service, Keith knew the company needed to find ways to further improve its great customer and staff relationships.

Keith Roderick and Marnie Shepherd leaning against a lawn bowls score sign

The brief

  1. The brokerage is a family business operating from offices in Geelong and Werribee. 
  2. The business upgraded its Internet connectivity and centralised its reception. Communication improved, costs fell and staff morale was raised.
  3. The business started small and has grown into one of the largest regional brokerages in Victoria, employing a team of 30.
  4. The company is planning to introduce a mobile application on tablet devices to allow staff to present information to clients while away from the office. Telstra will advise the business on this.

 

Meeting the multi-office challenge

“We had communication issues between our two offices. Inter-office calls were costly and we worked independently with a lot of unnecessary double handling. Since Telstra helped us upgrade our communications at both offices, we all work more cohesively as a team and now have a centralised reception, which has considerably reduced our double handling,” says Marnie.

One of the challenges facing the business was Internet bandwidth. Marnie says the company’s Telstra Account Executive provided solid advice on upgrading the Internet connection between the two offices, with a view to improving its customer services.

“We upgraded the size of the ‘pipe’ to our Werribee office to improve our Internet speed. This has reduced frustration and improved customer service levels. We also have a remote workforce and have recently added another line for our remote workers to access Remote Desktop Services. Our sales team also have access to emails and phone messages on the go, which allows them to keep on top of their workloads even when they are not at their desks.

”Operating the business from two locations posed another challenge. With fewer people working at the Werribee office, overflow calls from clients were redirected to an answering machine. “Now overflow calls are automatically redirected to the main office in Geelong and answered by a real person. This means clients are attended to immediately,” Marnie says.

Foundation for growth

To complement the new, improved communications infrastructure, the company was able to deploy a document management system to organise workloads and improve customer service. There has also been a cost saving to accompany those productivity benefits.

“The team is happier too!  The improvement in communication has made it easier for them to work together and greatly improved morale. There has been a noticeable reduction in staff stress since we centralised our reception. The pool of people who process claims and other transactions don’t tend to get behind in their work as everyone is able to chip in as a team and help out,” Marnie adds.

The relationship with Telstra has delivered continuous benefits to the business. “We routinely monitor our mobile costs with Telstra,” explains Marnie. “We have been Telstra customers since the business started. We sit down regularly with our Telstra Account Executive to review our communications needs to make sure we are on the best program for the business.”

Having such a great relationship with its main communications provider, Telstra, has been vital for the company. 

We have definitely noticed a reduction in staff stress

- Marnie Shepherd
Insights from Telstra's Executive Director TB Small Business

Being connected is critical for business success. Andy Giles-Knopp, Executive Director TB Small Business says: “It is important to look closely at how to embrace a digital strategy to gain a competitive edge.”

That connectivity lets businesses deliver great communications both within the company and with customers, enabling true two-way interactions. It allows customers to engage with you and provide feedback that can potentially help to fuel future growth for your business.

Great connectivity promotes business improvement and delivers the ability to embrace emerging technologies. It gives even established businesses the ability to leapfrog competitors as they deliver new products and services more efficiently at a lower cost.

Learn more: 

Find out about Internet connectivity here, and learn more about Telstra’s Mobility Solutions here.

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