June 2017

Not so long ago, measuring customer experience (CX) was much easier. Service satisfaction was all about time; connect time, call duration and giving customers answers as quickly as possible. 

But the landscape has changed. Big time.

Customers' expectations are rising exponentially; they want their query resolved the best way, not just the fastest way. They want it to be easy; they want it to be consultative.  They want to be treated like an individual.  Our Customers expect the best from us. They’ve challenged us to look for a more contemporary approach to training and assessing the Multi Channel Customer Experience of today.

Seems like a reasonable enough request, but how can your business most efficiently deliver on these expectations?

Introducing the remarkable SenseCX

SenseCX is a CX measurement system designed to culturally embed how your customers truly want to be serviced. The proprietary system provides ready access to insights for improved interactions that lead to better customer satisfaction, unwavering loyalty and enduring market differentiation.

The result of over 12 months’ development, involving field testing by a panel of 600+ Australians, SenseCX delivers a consistent approach to resolving customer queries. The system gives your service (and sales) teams tools to enrich exchanges with customers, and ultimately fulfil their servicing needs.

SenseCX allows you directly access results through a robust reporting platform, and to quickly convert challenges to action plans.

Key features include:

  • over 30 agent behaviour measurements in each service interaction, with subtle variations across each channel;
  • tangible observations that clearly indicate what can be celebrated and what needs improvement;
  • rapidly available dashboards and reports with as much detail as you need;
  • customisation to add, delete or alter criteria to suit specific customer environments;
  • internal benchmarking across teams, enquiry types or service channels(phone, email, face to face, social platforms); and
  • external benchmarking against a wide variety of sectors.

Let’s get started...

We’re champing at the bit to get you on the path to first-rate customer servicing across all channels.

Contact us today on 03 9605 4900 or info@csba.com.au for a no-obligation demonstration of SenseCX.


CSBA presented the much coveted award for ‘Excellence in Customer Service’ to La Trobe University at the annual ATEM ( Association for Tertiary Education Management) Student Service Centre Conference held in Sydney  at the end of May.
Each participating institution was contacted by mystery shoppers via telephone and email from February through to March and simple questions were asked to determine how effectively the institution met its callers’ needs. Calls were rated using different criteria that reflect the service quality of each call. The results were then collated and the winners revealed. This year's awards were divided into, Best Australian University, Best TAFE and Best New Zealand University.

The winners were:

Best Australian University and Overall Winner – La Trobe University
Best TAFE – Holmesglen
Best New Zealand University – University of Waikato

CSBA is a proud sponsor of the ATEM SSC Conference and the theme of this years event was "Tailoring the Student Experience" 
Keynote speakers at the conference provided a broad range of perspectives about where customer experience is heading. While there might be some divergence in terms of the best way of addressing issues and challenges, there is alignment on the fact that CX is and will remain a significant priority. CSBA presented a paper that outlined our research findings into the role sentiment, consultation and personalisation is playing in the customer satisfaction results across all industries. We revealed the important competencies and attributes needed in the Customer Service professional of today and how they vary from the needs of prior eras.

Image: Caitlyn Arena and Elizabeth Gallagher representing Latrobe University with CSBA's Director of Research, Education, Brian Irvine.

Employee experience…is about so much more than remuneration

"This doughnut went KEBAM in my mouth" - not something I hear very often in my work as a customer experience consultant. Don’t get me wrong, product quality and innovation is a huge part of the customer experience, but in my company we spend our time with sectors that are customers of the doughnut industry and not competitors in it.  No - on this “work day” I was enjoying my most coveted benefit: my day of birthday leave.



On this rarest of days, I met my sister in the city and collected my nephew who was only days away from his fifth birthday. Together he and I shared a memorable collection of moments that included not only said “Kebam worthy” doughnut – it also featured rainbow coloured stuffed teddies, a gleeful chance encounter with R2D2 and C-3P0, countless nibbles, tickles and giggles we will struggle to ever recreate. I am so grateful I could have that time with my little man (and a grown-up lunch with my sister and brother in law too).  Reflecting on it now, my joy was magnified by the generosity of the gesture from my company.  In short - that day meant more to me, in that it was a gift, than almost any other gesture the company has made to me in my short tenure.

I have long advocated that recognising the individual, the human element to an employee, is the bedrock upon which relationships, dependency and trust can be built.  I know I am aiming higher this week, I feel more connected, more valued, more loyal then I did last week. I can’t explain it, but I just do.

I didn’t only spend time with my family, I also managed to achieve some other life “administrivia”. I sorted out the roster for the remaining 12 weeks of the footy season, painstakingly allocating oranges, umpire escort, boundary and runner tasks to other stoic parents of my son’s football team. I made a banana cake to get rid of the sad looking bananas out of the fruit bowl before my anti-waste husband could chide the kids for them refusing to eat the imperfect fruit. I dropped off four bags of unwanted goods to the goodwill bin (at last, those once loved but never likely to fit again outfits are elsewhere), raked the leaves and endless other pieces of minutia that I could bring forward from Saturday to Friday, to make room on Saturday for other things.

I love that my company makes room in my life for life.  Not only through the provision of birthday leave, there is always the flexibility to duck to the dentist, attend a sports carnival, leave early to attend school council meetings, arrive late after an exam, but boy – that day of birthday leave will rate highly in my New Year’s Eve highlights reel.

Written by Michelle O'Donoghue, Director of CX at CSBA.

If you would like assistance in measuring your employee engagement via CSBA's Voice of The Employee Program, contact us for more information 03 9605 4900 or info@csba.com.au

CSBA Index

Quarter 3, 2016-17

1. GWM Water
2. University of Queensland
3. Wannon Water
4. Link Housing
5. Southern Rural Water
North East Water
7. Eurobodalla Shire Council
8. Blacktown City Council
9. TAFE Riverina
College of Law

If you are assessing or reviewing your customer service to monitor and improve performance, CSBA's SenseCX customer service benchmarking assessment can provide an independent validation of your internal assessment of the customer experience as well as benchmarking you against other organistations and sectors. It generates specific, objective feedback you can use to reward and reinforce great performance as well as practical insights you can implement to improve the customer experience. Enrolments are open now to commence from 01 July 2017, so if your team could benefit from external feedback, contact CSBA to find out.


Upcoming Events & Programs

For more information or to view all of CSBA's events, click here.

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February 2017


CSBA has spent the past 20 years working with some of the best service providers in the country to measure, understand and improve customer service.  Having gained a good indication and measure of client service, now what we are seeking to do is richer and deeper.  We are seeking to identify and measure the factors that lead to client advocacy – the point at which the client advocates for your brand.

We have developed a new methodology that can identify the agent behaviours that lead to increased customer advocacy, we call this Customer Experience Insight or CXI.  We will use CXI to drive all our CX measures, including Mystery Shopping.  This means that unlike other mystery shopping tools, CSBA Mystery Shopping:

  • Is truly multi-channel with a first in market Social Media assessment
  • Is action oriented – it provides measures but also clear insights into how to improve against those measures
  • Has a custom index that reflects contemporary CX best practice combination of Ease, Success and Engagement, and
  • Will allow you to conduct spot or rolling programs of assessment when it suits you.

So, in our 20th year of business CSBA continues to evolve and our services evolve with us.  This year we are launching a new product that can identify, measure and improve the agent behaviours that improve engagement.

If you would like to be among the first to have a sneak peek at the new product, please click here


Staff driving change in VicRoads Customer Service

CSBA were delighted to be able to host a group of clients to tour and experience the new VicRoads Customer Service Centre hub@exhibition.  Designed and driven by customer service staff, the new service centre sets the standard in customer focused design.  VicRoads used customer feedback to redefine the customer service roles, induction programs, uniforms, processes and the actual customer service centre itself.  The result is a new state of the art centre capable of serving the increasing number of VicRoads customers able to access services through the new central CBD location.

“Having conducted a range of customer service feedback over the years, we felt we finally had enough input to really redesign every aspect of customer service and the results have been very positive”, says Michael Coughlan, Area Manager from VicRoads.  “Our goal was to make a connection, make it easy and make a difference and this first hub will do just that”.

“We have worked with VicRoads for more than 3 years providing them with insights based on the feedback from their clients.  It is great to see these insights put to such great use in totally redesigning the customer experience” said CSBA MD Paul van Veenendaal.  “This is what real feedback and research is all about, not just numbers but being able to make a real difference to customer service.”


Click here to download.


Do you see your organisation through your customers'  eyes?

Most organisations have particular processes which tend to generate higher numbers of complaints, or where significant rework is created by customers calling in to check on progress or ask for updates on their situation. Knowing what to change to have the maximum impact on both business efficiency and customer satisfaction can be challenging if you don’t have a clear picture of the experience from the customer’s point of view.
Customer Journey Mapping can help you if:

  • You have gaps in your understanding of the experience that your customers are undergoing
  • You are willing to take a fresh look at managing the customer experience
  • You would like to decrease the volume of rework and complaints generated by customers with a particular process


With the rise and rise of Live chat, direct messaging and social media platforms as sales and service engagement channels, businesses have even more ways to impact customer experience. When seeking to assess and improve customer experience, businesses need to ensure their reviews extend to these new platforms.

Here is a very helpful link from the team at Social Media Examiner  - they’ve shared a few ideas for how to get started with Twitter as a service platform – importantly they’ve described a  “hack”  for getting around the service challenges of 140 characters!


As mentioned above, CSBA’s CX and Innovation teams have been developing new tools that can detect the presence and quality of emotional exchange or investment by service agents (or BOTS). Our tools help identify Agents who can infuse empathy, humour, generosity or even a co-conspirator flavour to an interaction – all of which are known to drive up the sense of personalisation and amplify positive customer experience sentiment.

For a fascinating look at where the science is heading with the use of humour in robots, here is a great read from Fusion.

The good news is CSBA can help assess the service experience across all channels. Click here if you’re grappling with Customer Service challenges on digital care platforms and want to speak to our CX team.


QUARTER 2, 2016-17

1. GWM Water
3. Strathbogie Shire Council
4. Town Mosman Park
5. Hobart City Council
6. City of Yarra
Eurobodalla Shire Council
8. University of Western Australia
Coliban Water
10. Link Housing
Townsville City Council
1. Automotive Nissan
2. Banks - General ING Direct
3. Banks - Loans NAB
Home Loans
4. Energy ActewAGL
5. Housing Services Link Housing
6. Insurance AAMI
7. Local Government Strathbogie Shire Council
8. Superannuation Colonial First State First Choice Superannuation Trust
9. TAFE Chisolm
10. Telecommunications  Virgin Mobile
11. Tenancy Authority NSW Fair Trading Tenancies
12. University University of Western Australia
13. Water GWM Water

If you are assessing or reviewing your customer service to monitor and improve performance, CSBA's quarterly customer service benchmarking assessment can provide an independent validation of your internal assessment of the customer experience as well as benchmarking you against others. It generates specific, objective feedback you can use to reward and reinforce great performance as well as practical insights you can implement  to improve the customer experience. Enrolments for the next quarter are open now so if your team could your team benefit from external feedback, contact CSBA to find out.

Upcoming Events & Programs

For more information or to view all of CSBA's events, click here.

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November 2016

Celebrating our clients...

VU Celebrates 100 years of great customer service

Victoria University (VU) has had a longstanding working relationship with CSBA since 2009 and was an early adopter of CSBA’s customer service standards across their traditional student service centre and contact centre teams.

After 3 years of making transformational improvement in customer service, VU wanted to make a step change to customer experience by integrating their customer service framework with more service areas including student administration and systems. They also wanted to ensure they were employing the most contemporary service mindset to be reflective of their aspirational brand positioning and approached CSBA to help them on their journey. CSBA introduced them to their newly developed Omni channel methodology: The Consultative CX framework.

The CX framework is designed to tap into the increasing importance emotion is playing in the world of differentiated customer experience.  Historically – good customer service was about speed and accuracy but the move to increasing “self service” has meant the focus needed to shift. Research is showing that customers who seek help now want more than a solution – they want their agent to have empathy with them – a relationship with them of sorts.

CSBA worked with a broad cross section of the Student Services team at VU to enhance their Customer Service Framework, renew their service standards with a consultative approach and redevelop their Quality Assurance feedback model to embed the new customer experience philosophy.  Called “Project Ignite” CSBA worked with more than 40 leaders and front line staff in Student Services to co create the new “customer service is everyone’s responsibility” ethos.

Project Champions volunteered from 9 different service teams to help gain alignment across teams, build capability and road test that the standards could be uniformly applied to any interaction over any channel or any customer need. The Student Services team also redeveloped their Customer Service Framework with a new view on customers that extended beyond students to including staff, parents, suppliers and community influencers.

At a recent celebratory morning tea hosted by the Project Ignite Owner Naomi Dempsey (Director of Customer Service and Student Communication) CSBA presented two awards to the Champions; Cam Luong and Marlene Molina.


Image from left to right: Registrar Student Services and Institutional Planning & Performance, Teresa Tjia, CSBA Customer Service Trainer and Project Manager, Pier Dartnell, VU Student Services Admissions and Enrolments “Champions of Champions” Marlene Molina and Cam Luong, CSBA CX Director Michelle O’Donoghue

These two worthy recipients were acknowledged for their creative application of the ideas learned during their framework development workshops, their disciplined commitment to meeting attendance and “homework”, their infectious enthusiasm and their willing adoption of new skills.  They are now truly customer experience evangelists at VU and will play a vital role in continuing to foster commitment and improvement across the broader team.

At the morning tea all project champions and their line managers were recognised by Naomi and Registrar of Student Services, Teresa Tjia for their efforts, patience and commitment.


CSBA congratulates cleint Link Housing on their ‘mystery shopper’ program which was successful in winning the ‘Customer Service Project of the Year’ at the recent Customer Services Institute’s Australian Service Excellence Awards.

The awards are important recognition of the innovation of Australia's most outstanding customer service driven organisations and individuals. It is wonderful to see a community housing provider take the top accolade for the first time.

Andrew McAnulty, Link Housing CEO, said, ‘This is an awesome initiative in partnership with NSW FACS which has generated training and jobs for tenants with a focus on improved customer service. This is the first project in Australia that utilises their own tenants to mystery shop the services of their housing provider’

Link Housing describes the drivers of its customer service strategy as leadership, innovation and a customer-centric approach to all its services and operations. Delivered in collaboration with NSW Department of Family and Community Services, the ‘mystery shopper’ program involved tenants assessing and reviewing the effectiveness of processes and customer satisfaction. The program has gained some tenants long-term employment and motivated others towards further education.

Lance Carden, NSW FACS Director Customer Service and Business Improvement, said, ‘the collaboration between FACS, Link Housing and our tenants has been driven by a desire to create real tenant engagement and long-term service improvements.’

 Link Housing is one of the oldest not-for-profit community housing providers in NSW and manages approximately 1,400 homes with over 2,500 customers across Northern Sydney. They work with clients along every step of the journey, from placing tenants into their new home all the way through to managing sustainable tenancy outcomes.
The customer - centric approach Link have applied across all services and operations has made this program successful and we are proud to work alongside Link and  the NSW Department of Family Services and Community team.

Lance Carden, Director and Rebecca Huntsman, Senior Project Officer, at FACS Housing said the following about their relationship with CSBA.

 “Over recent years, FACS Housing has worked closely with CSBA to improve customer experience for FACS Housing tenants. When FACS Housing and CSBA presented a case study on business improvements from our CSBA Service Quality Benchmarking program at the National Housing Conference, we set a challenging goal to involve our customers (tenants) in future service quality assessments. FACS Housing and CSBA then set about designing an innovative program which involved CSBA recruiting, training and employing tenants to provide feedback on their experience during interactions with FACS Housing.

David and the CSBA team were highly committed and flexible in developing and implementing the program, which provided FACS Housing with unique insights into tenant experience and perceptions about FACS Housing. We look forward to conducting similar customer experience improvement programs with CSBA in the future”



Image from left to right: Link Housing's Michael Bolton, Michael Bacon, Kathleen Cain, Lance Carden, Rebecca Huntsman, Jennifer Khamis and Dr Sven Tuzovic at the awards ceremony

CSBA Index
Quarter 1, 2016-17

2. Argyle Community Housing
Town of Mosman Park
Homes North Community Housing
5. GWM Water
6. Blacktown City Council
University of Western Australia
8. City of Monash
9. Colonial First State Super
10. Australian National University
1. Automotive Volkswagen
2. Banks - General Commonwealth Bank
3. Banks - Loans ANZ Bank Home Loans
4. Energy Energy Australia
5. Housing Services Argyle Community Housing
6. Insurance AAMI
7. Local Government Town of Mosman Park
8. Superannuation Colonial First State First Choice Superannuation Trust
9. TAFE TAFE Riverina
10. Telecommunications  Virgin Mobile
11. Tenancy Authority VIC Residential Tenancy Bond Authority
12. University University of Western Australia
13. Water GWM Water

If you are assessing or reviewing your customer service to monitor and improve performance, CSBA's quarterly customer service benchmarking assessment can provide an independent validation of your internal assessment of the customer experience as well as benchmarking you against others. It generates specific, objective feedback you can use to reward and reinforce great performance as well as practical insights you can implement  to improve the customer experience. Enrolments for the next quarter are open now so if your team could your team benefit from external feedback, contact CSBA to find out.

Upcoming Events & Programs

For more information or to view all of CSBA's events, click here.

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August 2016

Focus on our people...

We thought it might be interesting to check in with one of the senior members of the field team and share the art of phone based Market Research from his perspective.  Bill joined CSBA 3 years ago and enjoys: the ability to choose his shifts, swap between Mystery shopping and Cussat Interviewing and working across a broad range of industries.  In his former life Bill was a councilman for the City of Melbourne and before that he was a secondary school teacher.  He draws on his life experience to relate to his interview respondents.
(Editor’s note: We can’t help thinking his time in politics and public service prepared him well for the art of deception required in mystery shopping…..)

Background – how did you come to be involved in Market Research work?
I was at an event in the Melbourne Town Hall run by council.  I saw Paul Van Veenendaal speak about the importance of customer service and benchmarking.  That’s the first time I ever heard about the concept of mystery shopping.

What is stimulating about your work here? Best part of the day?worst?
Oh – being paid to lie is pretty interesting (Editor’s note: we prefer to call it pretending rather than lying)

Image:Some of the other talented callers in the CSBA field team

In any given day you move between Mystery Shopping and Customer Satisfaction Interviewing –what do you prefer and why?
I like them both but they really are very different.  In the cussat interviewing you really get to form a quite intimate relationship with the respondent – in some cases I’ve been privy to some very heartwarming stories – and sometimes you hear about some real hardship.  In mystery shopping I find it a real challenge to move between being a prospective university student trying to ask some enrolment questions through to a prospective car buyer – checking on the inclusions in my potential car warranty…..

What’s the hardest Mystery Shopping scenario you’ve had to act out – do you feel you’ve ever been detected?
I’ve never been told I was detected but I did once have a lovely service agent at a council in rural WA say “Gee – someone else called me about our getty opening hours a few weeks ago, Quick as a flash I said “Yes -there’s a boat show coming next month!”

To what do you attribute your very high strike rates in cussat? Empathy – voice….
Well – I think the key is to take my lead from the caller – if they are busy but generously agree to participate I am pretty quick and efficient….if I detect the caller is up for a chat, or needs a slower voice to be able to understand the question – I slow right down.  I find people are happy to participate if I manage their expectations properly up front.  They tend to be very comfortable hearing my mature, Australian accent too I think.

The most interesting answer you’ve had to a survey?
Oooh…that’s a hard one…..earlier this year I participated in a very interesting medically oriented study.  We were given a fantastic briefing before the field work commenced so we were really well prepared and were able to have a lot of empathy with the participants.  I was blown away by the loyalty those customers had for their supplier.

Which topics do you find respondents most comfortable talking about?
When offered a chance to discuss or register a complaint – there are some participants that are off and running…its very hard to keep up with what they’re saying sometimes….we often find in employee engagement surveys they feel free to let loose with authentic, deeply felt views that might not have confidence sharing in any other forums.

Australians are famous for being “lower scorers” on average = do you find a differences in levels of comfort awarding higher scores across races/ages/genders?
Do you know – I have not noticed that.  I have people prepared to give 0s and 1s and I have people prepared to give 9s and 10s….i more often have people who are reluctant to give a score at all and who instead run off and try to give me a long explanation about their view….when all I really need is a score….

When you’ve asked the same survey question 40 times in a day – how do you keep an interest in the response?
Everyone is different, truthfully. I am genuinely interested in people – they are fascinating.  In my previous life I canvassed opinions all the time – it is great to be in a role now that rewards my nosiness (Editors note: We prefer to call it Curiosity).

How do you confirm your accuracy?
I often have to listen back to the recording to ensure I have captured what the respondents said – I’m getting long in the tooth and my typing is not fast enough with the fast chatters.  In mystery shopping – I need to keep the scenario believable so I cant be worried about writing down what they are saying or they’d be long pauses and so on….it is a bit of an art.

What market research rules do you find the most challenging to observe (eg not leading the answer, not correcting grammar when recording verbatims…)
I can say it is an absolute pain to have to say the privacy statement at the end of every interview….I know we have to do it and I do know of some respondents who actually do choose to read the privacy policy and request their info etc…so I always do it – but it drives me a bit spare!


Image: Bill out and about in Melbourne

Effective Complaint Management

All organisations receive customer complaints from time to time, no matter how well they manage their businesses. While some complaints may not be justified, all complaints represent a great opportunity to learn, make improvements and create a positive customer experience. Not taking customer complaints seriously and not having a strategy to address them can have a considerable negative effect on business.
Effective Complaint Management starts with three key components:

Effective Complaint Management

Janine Mitchell, our Local Government Training Specialist, has developed the Assertive Complaint Handling for Local Government program and will be delivering this throughout October and November in South Australia and Queensland. We look forward to the success of the program and assisting councils improve in this area so mark the dates outlined below in your diary, for more information please contact us to discuss further.



CSBA Index
Quarter 4, 2015-16

1. Strathbogie Shire Council
2. GWM Water
3. North East Water
4. Hobart City Council
Wannon Water
6. Eurobodalla Shire Council
TAFE Riverina
Blacktown City Council
City of Parramatta
1. Automotive Holden
2. Banks - General ING Direct
3. Banks - Loans ING Direct Home Loans
4. Energy ActewAGL Energy
5. Housing Services QLD Housing
6. Insurance AAMI
7. Local Government Strathbogie Shire Council
8. Superannuation Colonial First State First Choice Superannuation Trust
9. TAFE TAFE Riverina
10. Telecommunications TPG Mobile
11. Tenancy Authority VIC Residential Tenancy Bond Authority
12. University ANU
13. Water GWM Water

CSBA's quarterly customer service benchmarking assessment is an independent source you can use to validate your internal assessments  regarding the experience your agents provide your customers.  It generates specific, objective feedback you can use to reward and reinforce great performance as well as some truly actionable improvements you may wish to make at a team or individual level.  Enrolments for the 2nd quarter of the year are open now.  Could your team benefit from some additional feedback?  Contact CSBA to find out more.

Upcoming Events & Programs

For more information or to view all of CSBA's events, click here.

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May 2016

Customer Experience, Customer Satisfaction and Customer Engagement: What's the difference and what's driving the meteoric rise of customer focus in the boardroom ?

Customer Engagement can be described as a customer’s direct interaction with a brand. Until recently it was dominated by a one-way monologue, “Mad Men” style, along the lines of: “Tell them about us, Tell them again and then Tell them some more”.  That has now morphed into much more of an “omnilogue” across many platforms and channels. Customers form perceptions about companies from; up close and personal interactions in stores, messages on packaging, online self-service, support over the phone, and through social media, news coverage, corporate social responsibility initiatives, the CEO’s biography and umpteen touch points in between.

When engaging with customers, companies are directly and indirectly making promises and creating expectations. Democratising the narrative and giving up control over what is said means that companies more than ever need to live up to their brand promise rather than just talking about it.

By contrast, Customer Satisfaction is a temporal measure - assessing how a company’s products and services meet, surpass or fail customer expectations at a moment in time. Companies have many ways to assess whether they’re meeting customer needs: renewals or repurchase/increasing share of wallet/advocacy/lowering customer churn all indicate customers are happy with what you’re doing for them – in part.

Customer Satisfaction scores can help you find out where your customer interactions are on point, and where improvement is needed, by understanding the satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) key drivers. Inevitably getting things done is a battle of internal resources. A targeted approach to improving results will always work better than trying to improve everything. The key driver analysis allows you to prioritise what to work on and how to get the biggest “bang for buck”.
Be warned, Customer Satisfaction is not a measure of how much your customers like or are emotionally connected to your company. To put it simply: solving a customer’s  problem is no guarantee that they are going to like you, it’s a good start but it’s not enough.

engagement circle-02


We like to think that Customer Experience is the intersection of Customer Engagement and Customer Satisfaction – it identifies the gap (or overlap) between Expectations and Delivery.  It takes in a wide variety of channels, platforms and touch points – from pre-purchase (awareness, research, attraction, interaction) to purchase, and then on to post-purchase (use, cultivation and advocacy). It’s the sum of all experiences a customer has with a brand, product or company and is laden with emotional nuance.
And so the boardroom...Behavioural economists are the new horse whisperers…they are helping Executives to recognize that not all purchasing decisions are rational – many are rooted in emotional, social and psychological responses. Thus, we see the rise of Customer Experience research.

Turn your mind to the little spot at the base of your neck, or at the top of your diaphragm, that involuntarily reacts to moments that matter. When you feel good about a moment you’ll have a flutter. The hairs on your neck will rise. You’ll grin. When you’re disappointed, angry or sad your breath might quicken, your throat might ache, you turn white hot, your skin flushes red. These emotional responses are what differentiate Customer Experience from Customer Satisfaction. It’s where the engagement with the brand and the business performance collide, and each helps to reinforce the other.  To discuss the size of your Customer Experience Gap or Overlap – contact us


CSBA Customer Satisfaction SURVEY

The 2016 CSBA Customer Satisfaction survey was conducted in March. Thank you to all our customers for taking the time to provide feedback . We do like to practice what we preach. Here is a snapshot of our results... CLICK HERE


Warren has over 20 years’ experience in both qualitative and quantitative research, and has held senior management roles with leading organisations in both Australia and the UK.  He is a resourceful, enthusiastic, and creative marketing professional, and is  passionate about market research and the importance of good customer service to drive loyalty and advocacy.  It should also be noted that Warren is highly experienced in customer service and satisfaction improvement programs, and has worked on large scale Mystery Shopping and Quality Audits programs from concept to implementation... EMAIL WARREN 


CSBA Index
Quarter 3, 2015-16

1. Town of Mosman Park
2. Strathbogie Shire Council
3. North East Water
4. Surf Coast Shire Council
5. University of Queensland
Wannon Water
7. City of Subiaco
GWM Water
9. City of Boroondara
10. College of Law
1. Automotive Holden
2. Banks - General Commonwealth Bank
3. Banks - Loans HSBC Home Loans
4. Energy Alinta
5. Housing Services QLD Housing
6. Insurance Budget Direct
7. Local Government Town of Mosman Park
8. Superannuation MLC Super
9. TAFE TAFE Riverina Institute
10. Telecommunications TPG Mobile
11. Tenancy Authority Residential Tenancy Authority Qld
12. University University of Queensland
13. Water North East Water

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February 2016


Welcome to the first newsletter for 2016.

I would like take this opportunity to welcome our newest staff members to the team. We welcome Giles Haynes, Business Development Manager and Helena van de Linde, Account Manager, who are both based in Sydney. This helps to build on our long standing presence in the Sydney financial, health, tertiary and Local Government portfolios.  We’re also delighted to announce we’ve expanded our research and analytics capability welcoming Martin Ho, Product and Innovation Lead and Lani Suwandi Customer Experience Analyst.  They are spearheading our new product development funnel and providing additional analytical horsepower into the team.

CSBA is more than ever before ready to build bespoke, action oriented research and improvement programs for businesses who want to win the customer experience race.  Our last 6 months have been some of our busiest with new syndicated benchmarking programs launching in the utility sector, growth in mystery shopping across local government, housing and insurance.  We’re delighted by the growth we’re seeing in the adoption of the CSBA customer centricity model across many of Australia’s largest tertiary providers.

If you need help with your customer experience strategy, some help with customer service centre operational design or some simple regular measures you can use to check, compare and improve your standards . CONTACT US

We also have some great events coming up over the next few months, including our Leveraging Trust in Superannuation Funds Workshop with Don O' Sullivan from the Melbourne Business School and I will be speaking at the Brisbane Auscontact Association Breakfast in March.

If you have any questions about any of our programs and events or how CSBA can support you and your colleagues, please call us on (03) 9605 4900.

Paul van Veenendaal
Managing Director


The CSBA Index is regarded as the leading standard for measuring the 'real' customer experience. The Index is used extensively to improve customer service and reduce costs.  READ MORE


Tremayne is an accomplished Senior Customer Experience Consultant who has spent the past 15 years working with some of Australia's most iconic brands. His breadth of experience spans a broad range of industries, across the inbound and outbound contact centre service functions assessing sales, service, collections, retention and loyalty. An expert in the design and execution of end to end customer experience transformation programs, Tremayne has implemented a number of successful Customer Service Improvement Programs for CSBA clients.  EMAIL TREMAYNE

QUARTER 2, 2015-16

1. GWM Water
2. Strathbogie Shire Council
3. Northern Territory Licensing Commission
4. Wannon Water
Budget Direct
6. Holmesglen
Surf Coast Shire Council
8. Coliban Water
Lower Murray Water
10. TAFE Riverina Institute-General
Blacktown City Council
1. Aid Médecins Sans Frontières Australia
2. Banks - General ING Direct
3. Banks - Loans National Australia Bank - Home Loans
4. Energy ActewAGL
5. Housing Services Housing ACT - Canberra Connect
6. Insurance Budget Direct
7. Local Government Strathbogie Shire Council
8. Automotive Holden
9. Superannuation Colonial First State First Choice Super Trust
10. TAFE Holmesglen
11. Tenancy Authority Residential Tenancy Authority Qld
12. University University of Adelaide
13. Water GWM Water

Upcoming Events & Programs

For more information or to view all of CSBA's events, click here.

Melbourne: 23 February
Associate Professor Don O'Sullivan will examine how funds may look to build maintain and leverage the trust advantage to drive member retention and engagement... READ MORE

Brisbane: 15 March
This session will provide a practical roadmap (using the 6 c's) for becoming a customer centric organisation It will cover areas such as having the right processes, measurement, technology and people development for success...READ MORE

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December 2015

Five tips on how to get the most from your research results

It’s probably been a while since you commissioned customer research into a topic for which you were all keen to find the answers.

In the meantime, you’ve all been so busy organising the research that you may well have lost sight of why it was you commissioned it in the first place.

But at long last you receive the report and read it. And that’s when you either all shake your heads in disbelief about how could you have got it so wrong, or you start to celebrate that you’re clearly on the right track!

Now that you’ve read the report once, it’s time to begin the hard work that will turn the research into outcomes within your organisation.

You can start by thinking about doing one or all of the following five things:

1. Spend 10 seconds and think about whether the results are a surprise. If so why? If they’re what you expected, did you expect good or bad results? Make sure you have as many channels as possible for feedback. If your results are great and everybody loves what your area does, then ask yourself do they fit with the feedback from other channels?

2. Discuss the report with your researcher. They won’t know your business like you do but, if given the opportunity, they will want to know more. A research report is a great way to broaden conversations. It also allows the researcher to contribute ideas and lessons from past experience. Remember they do this for a living.

3. Tell people. Telling people about your results is seldom used, yet it’s the most powerful thing you can do. Prepare a bulletin, update your intranet page,  place a note on your email signature or receipt of job ticket. It’s as important to tell internal customers/stakeholders as it is to tell customers. Your staff speak to both, so they can tell people about your progress, be it receiving praise or explaining what the area is doing about its results.

4. Engage your staff in digesting the results. Break your team up and have them pick a piece of the report to review, present and make recommendations on. The team has to own the results. More than anyone, they know where the customer pain points are – they live with them every day.

5. Try not to focus too much on the comments reproduced word for word in the report. Comments may provide the colour and often the humour of many reports, but remember often less than 20% of respondents write a comment, so they shouldn't provide the basis of the findings. Their views can help shed a light on an issue but one comment does not make a crisis.

There are a lot of things to consider once you receive a research report. You can make your task easier by sharing, discussing, and collaborating on the results.For further information on getting the most from your research contact your CSBA Account Manager.

1 Southern Rural Water
2 GWM Water
3 Budget Direct
4 Wannon Water
5 Gladstone Regional Council
5 Coliban Water
7 Wodonga City Council
8 North East Water
9 University of Adelaide
9 Surf Coast Shire Council

Top Performers by Industry

1. Insurance Budget Direct
2. Local Government Gladstone Regional Council
3. Water Southern Rural Water
4. Superannuation Colonial First State Firstchoice Superannuation Trust
5. Aid Organisations Plan Australia
6. Housing Services Housing ACT
7. Tenancy Services Residential Tenancy Authority QLD
8. TAFE North Coast TAFE
9. Universities University of Adelaide
10. Energy Actew AGL Energy
11. Motor Manufacturing Mazda
12. Banks - Loans NAB Home Loans
13. Banks - General ANZ
14.  Telecommunications  Optus Mobile

Upcoming Events & Programs

To register or for more information, please click here.

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September 2015

Are Sales the new Service?

It  is bantered about in business circles and forums, seminars and professional development sessions and yet so few seem to understand the mechanics of Consultative Needs Based Sales and how it works to enable a higher conversion rate and increased sales performance.

Essentially the idea behind needs based sales is that we should ask questions to understand the customer’s needs and then offer them the product or service that best suits. Needs based sales are seen by many organisations as a mechanism to offer the right product to the customer and therefore increase their likelihood to buy.To understand effective needs based sales it is crucial to know that Customer Experience has two key ingredients, the physical and the emotional. The physical is the product, its features and the price. The emotional are the motivators and drivers that influence the customer to want the product and the benefits or assurances they may derive from using it.Many businesses overlook the emotional needs and drivers of the customer within the sales process and still believe they are using a needs based sales process. This then leaves only the features and price to compete with and in a highly commoditised market can leave little to differentiate on. Price is certainly a key consideration for any customer; however trust and peace of mind are even more intrinsic to influencing a buying decision. As the old saying goes ‘we buy from people we like and trust’.Engaging the customer in an open conversation that allows them to express their situation, aspirations and feelings sends a powerful message that your organisation is customer focused. Even when it is not required to win the customer’s business, if you convey a genuine interest in understanding the customer's emotional needs you create a bond that supplants your product and its price which may be the first step towards creating long-term relationships and loyal advocates.Many organisations are now discovering this approach can be applied to both sales and service interactions with significant returns on investment; increased efficiency, customer advocacy and retention. So the big question is Sales the new Service?

CSBA has been engaged to implement Consultative Needs Based Sales models across sales and service functions for a range of clients across a multitude of Industries. The return on investment has seen many clients realising significant increases in Sales, Customer Advocacy and Staff Satisfaction.

For further information on implementation of a Consultative Needs based Sales or Service model within your organisation you can contact Tremayne Murphy 0450 281 008.

The CSBA Index

QUARTER 4, 2014-15

Top 10 Customer Service Performers


1. Budget Direct
1. North Coast TAFE
3. Launceston City Council
4. GWM Water
Wannon Water
6. Southern Rural Water
7. City of Yarra
Rural City of Wangaratta
9. North East Water
Chrurches of Christ Care



Top Performers by Industry

1. Insurance Budget Direct
2. Local Government Shire of Kalamunda
3. Water GWM Water
4. Superannuation Hostplus
5. Aid Organisations Medecins Sans Frontieres Australia
6. Housing Services Churches of Christ Care
7. Tenancy Services Residential Tenancy Authority QLD
8. TAFE North Coast TAFE
9. Universities University of Adelaide
10. Energy Actew AGL Energy
11. Motor Manufacturing Holden
12. Banks - Loans NAB Home Loans
13. Banks - General ANZ


Upcoming Events & Programs

To register or for more information, please click here.

National Program:  Network Program
Members now have the opportunity to participate in a quarterly mystery shopping benchmarking program, specifically for the Network..... Read more
National Program:  Federation Benchmarking Program
CSBA’s Housing Providers benchmarking program supporter by the Federation compares your business against similar businesses, showing specific strengths and areas for improvement across a range of channels.... Read more



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June 2015

The Path from Strategy to Great Customer Experience is via Service Design

At the recent Government Communications Australia Conference in May, Paula Giles (Director of Consulting, CSBA) spoke on 'Reputation and Experience: The Twin Pillars of Customer Centric Organisations'.

We suggest that if you are in the business of enhancing your organisation’s reputation then you must own or influence the customer experience. Our view is that every person operating in the customer service and experience space must be able to clearly show how the service they provide is delivered as promised, consistently and well. Otherwise, how will you enhance reputation, demonstrate performance and add value?

We are currently working with our clients to re-think and redesign the service they provide – by working 'from the outside in’, listening to their customers and helping to redesign their service offer. Otherwise, how will you develop a clear path from strategy to a great customer experience?

Click here to download a copy of the presentation by Paula Giles. For further information, please contact Paul van Veenendaal.


Fast Feedback: Mobile Capability for Your Community Events

What if there was a quick and accurate way to find out how people experience your community events so you could then plan and make adjustments to give them an even better experience?

Our live customer experience evaluations can rapidly assess what influences your customers’ experience of your sporting events, exhibitions and venues. We’ll be on the spot to assess your staff and facilities to find out:

  • Are your staff well presented and friendly and helpful?
  • Do staff help people find their seats?
  • Are there any delays for food and drinks or entry tickets? Do queues move quickly?
  • Is food well presented?
  • Are facilities, car parks and first aid station well signposted and easy to find?
  • Do customers park and leave the car park smoothly?

We enter live results via tablets into our unique data collection system for immediate analysis. We’ll report the results to you within 48 hours so you can plan and make the resource adjustments necessary to improve customer experience and satisfaction.

To find out more, please contact Senior Account Manager, David Laffin.


The CSBA Index

QUARTER 3, 2014-15

Top Customer Service Performers

2. Shire of Kalamunda
3. North East Water
4. Colonial First State Firstchoice Superannuation Trust
GWM Water
6. Budget Direct
7. Wannon Water
8. Colac Otway Shire Council
9. Rural City of Wangaratta
Southern Rural Water

Top performers by industry

1. Insurance AAMI
2. Local Government Shire of Kalamunda
3. Water North East Water
4. Superannuation Colonial First State Firstchoice Superannuation Trust
5. Aid Organisations Médecins Sans Frontières Australia
6. Housing Services United Housing
7. Wealth Building Colonial First State
8. TAFE Federation Training - Yallourn Campus
9. Universities Australian National University
10. Energy Lumo Energy
11. Motor Manufacturing Holden
12. Banks - Loans NAB Home Loans
13. Banks - General Commonwealth Bank
14. Tenancy Authorities NSW Fair Trading - Tenancies
15. Internet Service Providers iPrimus

Upcoming Events & Programs

To register or for more information, please click here.

National Program: CMT

June 2015

A syndicated survey designed to collect feedback relating to all channels of service delivery(telephone, email, in person, web, mail)... Read more
National Program: Local Government Customer Service Network

July 2015

Members now have the opportunity to participate in a quarterly mystery shopping benchmarking program, specifically for the Local Government network... Read more

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February 2015


What does it mean?
Definition: A positive consumer experience during all interactions.

A customer-centric approach can add value to a company by enabling it to differentiate itself from competitors who do not offer the same experience.

CSBA have helped many companies from all industries on the road to becoming more customer-centric and we understand that all organisations have individual priorities and goals. The results of a customer-centric culture can mean increased sales, reduced costs, happier and more engaged staff, more effective managers, higher customer satisfaction scores and above all, making the customer's life easy.

Our Case Studies demonstrate our clients' successes and some of the measures they have adopted to achieve their goals.

You can read more about our many success stories here.

The CSBA Index

QUARTER 2, 2014-15

Top Customer Service Performers

1. GWM Water
2. Wannon Water
3. Budget Direct
4. North Coast TAFE
City of Yarra
7. Central Gippsland Institute of TAFE - Yallourn Campus
8. City of Monash
Adelaide University
10. City of Sydney
Southern Rural Water

Top performers by industry

1. Aid Médecins Sans Frontières Australia
2. Banks - General NAB
3. Banks - Loans NAB
4. Energy Actew AGL
5. Housing Services Qld Housing
6. Insurance Budget Direct
8. Local Government City of Yarra
9. Motor Manufacturing Holden
10. Superannuation Colonial First State First Choice Super Trust
11. TAFE North Coast TAFE
12. Tenancy Authority Residential Tenancy Authority Qld
13. University Adelaide University
14. Water GWM Water
15. Wealth Building Colonial First State

Upcoming Events

To register or for more event information, please click here.


Perth: 12 March
Adelaide: 18 March
Townsville: 26 March

This program is designed for frontline customer service staff, team leaders and managers to learn how to manage customer expectations and drive service improvement.

Perth: 12 March
Adelaide: 18 March
Townsville: 26 March

This program is designed for frontline customer service staff, team leaders and managers to learn how to manage customer expectations and drive service improvement.

Hobart: 6 May

Annual Customer Service Seminar: Building a customer centric organisation

Perth: 3 June

LGMAWA & CSBA Annual Forum

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