skip to main content
  • Business Intelligence
  • Growth
  • Customers
  • Productivity
  • Business IQ
  • Trends
  • Success Stories
  • Tech
  • Awards
  • Business Tools
  • Subscribe
  • Tech Enquiry
  • Customer Experience

    Exceptional Customer Service in the Digital World | Telstra Smarter Business

    Smarter Writer
    Smarter Team

    A team of business and technology journalists and editors who write to help Australia’s community of small and medium businesses access the technology and know-how that helps solve problems and create opportunities.

    Smarter Writer
    Smarter Team

    A team of business and technology journalists and editors who write to help Australia’s community of small and medium businesses access the technology and know-how that helps solve problems and create opportunities.

    Here, we learn how one online business uses the advantages of digital technology to enhance its customer service.

    Man types on laptop

    Large corporations are beginning to see the value in creating an individual customer experience, but you don’t need to have the budget of the big players to implement this strategy. In fact, small businesses have the advantage of agility thanks to lower staff numbers, which helps them pivot quickly. You can do this on a modest budget with the vast array of tech at your disposal, or by offering superior customer care in a client-orientated field – even if you’re not seeing your customer face-to-face.

    Create a passionate community

    Harvest Box provides an exceptional customer experience without having to engage with customers in a store, and they’ve still managed to create a loyal community that furthers their growth. Offering subscription-based healthy snack packs, Harvest Box began life in 2010 when three friends – William, James and George – got fed up with the chips and chocolate usually on offer.

    Sourcing the freshest ingredients from producers all around Australia, with a large number of mixes of nuts, dried fruit and seeds, Harvest Box allows its customers to rate their box, meaning about 50–60 combinations are created based solely on customer responses.

    Co-founder William Cook says the more the business invests in the customer experience – by communication via email and streamlining the order process, as well as allowing customers to customise their mix and provide feedback via customer surveys – the easier it is to create a community that people want to be part of.

    “We felt that having a weekly or fortnightly interaction with our customers, with the delivery of the box and email communication and online, creates an almost membership-style reaction with our customers. It’s a community rather than a one-off purchase that may or may not happen. I say it’s like crowdfunding – you sort of ‘crowd’ select what mixes work and what don’t. If it’s badly rated, it will be removed. Customers do have an impact.”

    From listening to customers and creating highest-rated mixes based on reviews, Harvest Box procured retailers, including Coles, to stock their boxes. The data collected from their customer interaction had influenced the company’s growth. A positive customer experience that became a community helped Harvest Box expand their bottom line.

    Are you meeting expectations online?

    Expert advice & practical tips to help turn customers into loyal advocates.

    Access free reportAre you meeting expectations online?

    Customer experience 101

    Harvest Box’s William Cook gives his top tips on creating a positive customer experience, beginning to end.

    1. Put yourself in the position of the customer. “Often a business will make a decision on what’s best for them, rather than what’s best for the customer. But you have to step back and see what’s worthwhile to the customer and what is rewarding for them.”
    2. Get customers involved. “With Harvest Box, customers are able to select their mixes better or rate their mixes so what arrives in their boxes is what they like. It’s more important than giving them all of our mixes and variety that we think they’ll like.”
    3. Ask questions via customer surveys. “We often ask our customers and our peers what they think before we go live.”
    4. Customers can dictate your profit. “To make it cost-effective, we made all our communication online. It’s the most effective but it’s the most wasted communication tool. It’s very easy for someone to delete an email. Our customers told us we were communicating with them too much, so we cut it down to once a week.”

    This article was originally published on 11 February 2015 and updated on 11 June 2020.

    Build your business’s online presence

    Get online and succeed with a Telstra Business Digital Marketing plan.

    Find out moreBuild your business’s online presence

    Success Stories
    Success Stories
    How Shine Drink developed an effective website

    Steve Chapman is the CEO and co-founder of Shine Drink, Australia’s first line of nootropic drinks. When the brand launched in 2017, Steve made an early commitment to creating ...

    Business IQ
    Business IQ
    3 essentials to keep your digital platforms up to date

    As part of Telstra’s partnership with Small Business Australia, Executive Director Bill Lang shares three quick, practical tips to help small and medium-sized businesses stand ...

    Productivity
    Productivity
    How to manage tech challenges when working remotely

    With the rise of remote and flexible working, it’s important for businesses to consider how they’ll manage tech support from afar – and help prevent tech challenges in the firs...

    Tech
    Tech
    How 5G could help grow and transform your business

    In Telstra’s recent Business Intelligence survey, small and medium business owners were asked about the technologies they think will impact them in the future. ‘Cloud’ (28%) an...