This is the third of a series of interviews with CEOs that were included in a book I wrote in late 2010 called RARE Business. It was a collection of thoughts, ideas and strategies to help businesses ‘build better relationships with their customers and their people’.
The interviews were included to supplement my own thoughts and experience and add richness, depth and context. In the interviews, I asked them what they have done to drive their business’ success, customer focus and how they have built their employee and customer engagement.
The first interview was with Andrew Beale of Beales Hotels and is featured in Longevity of ownership and staff service are two main keys to building customer retention and loyalty The second interview was with Stephen Waddington of Speed Communications and is featured in Honesty and transparency with clients and prospects builds better retention and loyalty
The third interview in the series was with Stefan Töpfer of Winweb. Stefan started WinWeb.com (http://www.winweb.com/) in 1994 to help home & small business get online in a process he likes to call “Globalization of the Kitchen Table”. In 1995 his focus changed slightly and he went onto build Nacamar Group PLC (today part of Tiscali/The Carphone Warehouse), into one of the biggest ISPs in Europe. He sold this at the peak of the dotcom boom in August 1999. In 2000, he went back to work on WinWeb and developed the On-demand Small Business Infrastructure, now rebranded as Business Cloud.
The company has grown to an organisation of around 25 virtual employees over the last 10 years and has small business clients all across the world. He also writes a very popular small business blog (www.sme-blog.com), which is a Top 100 Business Blog and his ambition is to drastically decrease the mortality rate of small business, which currently runs at a horrendous 50% in the first five years.
Stefan agreed to talk to us and share some insights about what has made his business so successful in retaining customers, building a great team and driving repeat business and growth.
In our interview, Stefan shared some insights on what he believes they do, at Winweb, that has helped them build a truly customer-focused business and team. Here are some of his insights:
This is another great example of an established business that is leading its industry, empowering its team and delivering value for its customers.
Can you learn anything from their approach?