Rocket Science is a new ‘problem solving’ company for the sector, made up of three industry veterans: Alasdair Jeffrey, who has worked with Phones 4U and Carphone amongst others over the last 15 years, former Avenir, Computer 2000, and 20:20 man John Doughty, and Jon Townsend, whose career includes time with O2, T-Mobile, and Carphone Warehouse. Jeffrey and Doughty outlined to Mobile what they offer and explain that they are ‘not a typical consultancy’.
Where did the idea for Rocket Science come from??
Jeffrey (pictured, left): John Doughty and Jon Townsend, who are involved in this particular project, both saw and benefitted first hand from what I did with previous clients. People are always saying there is room for improvement, and I get asked to help solve their problems – and then they ask me to come back and help again. ?
Doughty (pictured, right): It was a mutual thing. I had worked with Alasdair before, and we had discussed doing something, however at the time we couldn’t, the opportunity came up again this year, and we felt the time was right in both the marketplace, and the wider economy. There are a lot of companies looking for ways and means to improve.
What service are you offering?
?Jeffrey: People have tried to give names to what we do over the years– at DX communications it was called ‘the sales process’ – at Phones 4u it was called ‘customer excellence’. We simply deliver common sense solutions; however, in reality common sense is not that common – in fact it’s better described as ‘rare sense’.
??How will the industry change??
Jeffrey: I think we will be working on an evolving unified communications sector. Integrating mobile, fixed line, internet, IT hardware and software.
??How do you work with people??
Jeffrey: In many different ways. One example was at Phones 4u: I would start working with a group of people at 8pm or 9pm on a Friday evening and then effectively work round the clock with them for the next three days. That experience was specifically designed to effectively bring about a significant behavioural change in the individual, which benefitted the customer and therefore Phones 4u.
??Do you think you will have to adapt and change depending on the client??
Jeffrey: In every case performance is a result of human behaviour, which is a combination of attitudes and abilities. That is the same for every client. A genuine understanding of human behaviour is essential to bring about measurable change in performance.
Doughty: It will change depending on the company and their situation. We will work very closely with them to understand the issues. There is no point going in with a set plan before you fully understand the company’s needs. We will sit down with them right from the start and focus on getting to their goal.
??Who are you offering the service to??
Jeffrey: There will be no typical customer. It could be a small b2b mobile dealer, with whom we can demonstrate an improved number of opportunities to do business, conversion rates of those opportunities and retained profits per transaction. It could be an IT distributor who is being asked about BlackBerrys and doesn’t understand the processes involved. It could even be that we help put together strategies that reduce employee turnover.
Doughty: There are many different types of criteria including businesses looking to diversify from their core abilities, and widen their overall proposition, or company’s looking to improvement in their core business, be it sales skills, staff attrition, or other key measures. The sale has become much more sophisticated and so has the customer.
This isn’t just a b2b challenge, even consumer’s technology needs are becoming more integrated. Therefore retail sales people are selling a much wider range of products and the consumer expects a lot more expertise. It can’t just be about salespeople being trained on individual products, we’re focusing on technology and how products integrate together to satisfy customer requirements.
??How would you describe the business??
Jeffrey: It is not a typical consultancy and we don’t want to be pigeon-holed as ‘trainers’ either. The product is actual delivery of results. I’m not quite sure what we should be called but in simple terms, if a business owner has a problem in sales, retention, margins or staff morale for example, we would work with them to bridge the gap by getting our hands dirty and solving the problem. Every job over the last 15 years has been different.
?Doughty: We want to be hands on and be a part of making a difference around customer propositions, performance and providing solutions. Everything we do is measurable, and we aim to be a part of implementing and not just creating the solution.
??How will you make money?
?Jeffrey: Those who know me know that it’s not just about the money. However, we put together a profit improvement plan and help companies realise extra revenue. I have found over the years that clients don’t mind sharing some of that increased revenue. Or the cost savings, which are realised due to increased efficiencies.
Doughty: In every level of telecoms and IT there are opportunities to develop your business, we have had positive interest across mobile network and dealers, IT vendors and resellers, applications companies, and distributors. We want to identify and agree measurable objectives and ensure anything we deliver actually pays for itself through the performance improvement.
?What are your targets over the next six months?
?Jeffrey: Our target is simply to help others hit their targets. In a nutshell, we are committed to helping people who are committed to making improvements in their businesses.
Doughty: To work with the right types of clients in this space. We have no intention of taking on projects just for the money, and we want to ensure that we’re working with people who share a similar attitude to good business practice.