It must be one of the business world’s most widely used calls to action – “We must make the customer the centre of everything we do!” The reason it is, of course, is that it is absolutely right. Nothing is more important. But for all the passion and conviction put into creating genuine customer focus it is frustrating when we get it wrong.
Like many businesses around the world Telstra has been working to put the customer at the centre of everything we do. We have made good progress, but I’m the first to admit that we do not always get things right. Every business has a unique set of challenges, but when your business – like ours – is answering 15 million customer calls each year, making 900,000 customer appointments and completing 3.4 million tasks in the field, you only need to get it a little bit wrong to disappoint many.
That is the nature of the challenge. It is a task that for many of us is far from complete and we still have much to learn. That said, we now have the benefit of some hard earned experience.
David Thodey became Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director in May 2009.
David joined Telstra in April 2001 as Group Managing Director of Telstra Mobiles and in December 2002 was appointed as Group Managing Director Telstra Enterprise and Government. In this role, David was responsible for the company's corporate, government and large business customers in Australia and internationally. Before joining Telstra, Mr Thodey was Chief Executive Officer of IBM Australia/New Zealand and previously held several senior executive positions in marketing and sales with IBM across Asia Pacific. Mr Thodey holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and English from Victoria University in New Zealand and attended the Kellogg Post-Graduate School General Management Program at Northwestern University in Chicago.
In January 2013, David joined the Board of the GSM Association, the global body made up of carriers and related companies that supports the standardisation and deployment of mobile technology around the world. He is also co-chair of the Infrastructure and Investment Taskforce of the Australian B20 leadership group – the business advisory forum of the G20.