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aLl customer stories

UniSA’s Australian Centre for Business Growth transforms its CEO engagement with Pendula

Improved experience

resulting in positive word of mouth reviews from participants and alumni

Increased engagement

with alumni database through personalised and timely communication

Significant time saved

and improved job satisfaction for UniSA staff

More accurate data

from alumni for research programs

The Australian Centre for Business Growth was established by UniSA Business in 2014 to deliver world-class business growth programs to small and medium companies. Since then, it has provided business owners, CEOs, Managing Directors and their executive team members with the knowledge and skills they need to grow their companies. The result is a significant community of current participants, alumni and more than 1250 companies who know how to grow.

The Centre needed an efficient and effective two-way communications system to conduct and evolve its programs, undertake research, and support its alumni to grow their companies. Its audiences are current program participants and graduate CEOs and executives who have completed its business growth programs.

Since 2018, the Centre has been leveraging Pendula to:

  • Improve the customer experience
    creating effective pathways to reach out to program participants as part of an integrated and seamless customer journey
  • Deliver tailored and timely program and alumni communication
    using two-way SMS messaging to build relationships and improve program participant and alumni experiences
  • Improve staff utilisation and satisfaction
    by reducing, even eliminating, time spent performing repetitive manual data entry
  • Strengthen measurement and evaluation practices
    for the Centre, contributing to an increase in data driven decision-making and a culture of continuous improvement

The challenge

Before working with Pendula, the Centre was relying on time-consuming manual data entry to facilitate communication with its program participants and alumni. It was inefficient – typically demanding up to 100 hours of staff time – and made it difficult for teams to ensure timely, seamless and accurate communication and data collection from time poor CEOs and executives.

Centre staff wanted to improve engagement levels with these key customers. For example, using email to communicate with them resulted in low response rates and the Centre’s teams were struggling to collect the data needed to conduct research and on-board participants.

The team needed an effective and painless way to communicate with these difficult-to-reach executives. Shifting communications from manual email to seamless and personalised two-way SMS was crucial to achieving this goal.

How Pendula helped

Using Pendula enabled the Centre to substantially improve its student and alumni onboarding experience. Its real-time SMS communication helped the Centre’s team easily follow up with new clients and encourage them to complete course pre-work.

“We initially engaged with Pendula to enhance our existing communication practices. We have been hugely successful in doing so. Flexible and customisable two-way SMS communication has helped us to leverage our existing alumni relationships, keep our participants engaged with our programs and deliver a unique and cutting-edge proposition for the Centre.”
David Kameniar, Program Team Lead

The Centre improved its research data collection from alumni after integrating Pendula into their existing marketing stack. Pendula was used to distribute the Centre’s Growth Tracker Survey to almost a thousand business owners, CEOs and Managing Directors across Australia and manage their responses. Centre staff used two-way SMS communication to clarify alumni queries and follow up in a one-to-one, conversational way, which resulted in higher engagement and better-quality data.

"Getting the company prep work ahead of time is integral to delivering our business growth programs successfully, because it means that facilitators receive the information needed to create an impactful, tailored program for participants. In addition, the system helped the Centre’s team to answer questions and resolve client issues in a quick and accurate fashion.”
Cass Thomas, Data and Systems Officer

In this way Pendula supported collection of quantitative and qualitative survey information that enables the Centre to understand and report on trends in the SME sector, improve its programs, report transparently to its stakeholders, and provide actionable insights for business leaders, service providers and policymakers.

Overall results

By working with Pendula to create an innovative new system of communication, the Australian Centre for Business Growth was able to:

  • Improve the program participant's and alumni overall experience
    making onboarding simpler, resulting in positive word of mouth reviews
  • Better nurture its database of alumni
    improving engagement with existing contacts by offering personalised and timely communication
  • Encourage alumni to release timely growth data
    more quickly and accurately for its research programs
  • Save significant staff time and improve job satisfaction
    by removing time-consuming manual data entry

The Australian Centre for Business Growth plans to work with Pendula to further refine its communication methods, create automated journeys that align with specific objectives and drive program innovation in coming years.

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