The Doctor of Customer Service


Dr Catriona Wallace, customer experience futurist and entrepreneur, exudes the sexy-swagger of a rock star. Confident , gorgeous, polished and magnetic….. and she relates to the need for having a clear vision, setting defined goals and having people that you know like and trust.

Have a Clear Vision

“Our team understands our vision for the business is more than making money, it is to make a significant difference to the well-being of people”

Identify the Pain and Finding a pain killer 

“I am an entrepreneur … I listen to markets, identify an opportunity and a pain that is out there – then build a company that can solve that pain  with experts – providing a pain killer… not just a vitamin!”

Setting goals and smashing them out of the ballpark 

“success is setting goals that most other people did not think possible and then smashing them out of the ballpark.”

Define outrageous success specifically

for me, success will be 

  • building a global business and exit in 5-7 years , so I can reinvest in social enterprises and add value to lives that we touch! 
  • And that my family are happy and healthy.”
  • And getting laid occasionally… OMG, did I just say that? Yes.”

Key ingredient – People that you know like and trust

You need a high performing team. How do you get the best to work with you?

  • By  building a brand with a strong reputation that is aligned with your vision. 
  • By having a clear set of behaviours that you expect people to adhere to and live by. 
  • By having programmes rewarding those behaviours 

Catriona’s business has been based on customer service 

She coined the name Fifth Quadrant – customer experience – sitting alongside sales & marketing; operations & IT; finance and HR,” Catriona says.

It’s all about the customer

It’s about building strong relationships and trust with the customer . With competence, character and being of service

It’s about adding value to a customer 

“Design and deliver high quality products and services then make it easy for the customer to deal with you, says Catriona.

According to Catriona, 60 per cent percent of a customer’s rating of a business will be an emotional response, how they feel about a company. 

Cariona conceived Flamingo – a software platform  helping customers design the experience they want, within the parameters that business could deliver.

If you want to use technology to build strong customer relationships, remember “it’s about creating value”.

Don’t think of customers like cattle

Most businesses are still stuck in traditional models of mass segmentation of customers,” she says.

“Think about the language used when referring to customers. Usually customers are in pipelines, are segmented, tagged, flagged, made sticky, made captive, branded and given terms and conditions. This is how we treat prisoners…or… cattle…These models will not be relevant in the age of individualisation; which is now.”

Turn a lemon into lemonade 

Poor customer relationships can be salvaged

“So never dismiss a customer or ignore a customer who has had a bad experience. Take responsibility for it, even if it was not directly your organisation’s fault. Own it, fix it, be apologetic and give the customer something for free or of value to them. They should become loyal advocates and this is invaluable.”

“If issues are resolved for a customer then they can become raving fans,” Catriona says.

You need to nail the 6 methods of communication with customers 

1. Voice – call and contact centre

2. Social media

3. Video

4. Online/digital

5. Email

6. Face to face

5 ways to manage and provide knock-out customer service

1. Focus on delivery of the whole of customer experience – communication, tailored product, process, channel, people & price
2. Ask customers what they actually want, even if you cannot deliver it right now
3. Develop both your digital channels and human channels and let customers choose how they want to interact
4. Be highly, highly responsive
5. Develop social media channels for customers to communicate with you

It is no wonder that Catrina had been inducted into the Australian Business Woman’s Hall of Fame, being involved with Springboard Enterprises Women Entrepreneur’s program and EY Entrepreneur of the Year programs as well as being a winner in the recent Pearcey Entrepreneur of the Year awards.

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