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In Touch - Interview with the founder of Customer-Square


Jonathan Tunnicliffe, Out of Africa

March 21, 2018 by En-Contact Magazine

In a world that has fewer and fewer original paths, that of Jonathan Tunnicliffe, co-founder of Customer Square, stands out – because he started very young, traveled far, met the right people, and learned a lot as he was building what has become a global high-tech industry.

When we talk about certain details of his years in a very young software publisher, which has since become one of the world leaders in its niche -Vocalcom-, Jonathan Tunnicliffe laughs: "Yes, it's true, we played rugby in the corridors between two sales but above all we worked with all our might”. This autodidact who began his career as a supervisor at 19 at Pronytel, before working for France Telecom and then EDF, "to pay for osteopathic studies, which I quickly abandoned for lack of vocation and means", has enormously learned at Vocalcom.

Anthony, Anne, Charles-Emmanuel and the others…

“I was 10 years younger than the sales people of the time, Anthony Dinis (note: founder of Vocalcom) was looking for people who came from production, it served me. Anthony taught me a lot: in particular, that software publisher is a profession. He showed me the rhythm of life of an entrepreneur in this universe: a quarter of his time in the restaurant, a quarter “in the code”, a quarter in the process of making signatures”. And Jonathan chooses to spend the last quarter in the management and customer relationship books. The first at the time. Restaurant ? It is mainly for meetings, and Jonathan then meets what we cannot yet call "beautiful people" in the sector, the pioneers: Anne Bendler, Marc Gladys, Charles-Emmanuel Berc, Laurence Parisot, Denis Akriche...

Out of Africa

Bilingual in English and speaking rather good Spanish, Jonathan ensures the commercial clearing abroad for Vocalcom in Morocco, Tunisia, Dubai, Argentina... Difficult first sales which will nevertheless lead to the establishment of large operational subsidiaries and profitable. The playground he prefers is Africa where he will largely contribute to setting up an entire distribution network from scratch. Africa will never quite leave him and it will teach him a lot: “North and West Africans taught me a lot about what the customer relationship was, or rather how to manage it. When I read Manuel Jacquinet's mood posts, his troubles with his banker, I tell myself that it's typically French. Listening, conversation, this is the basis of the customer experience, and in France we still tend to forget it too much, and start from the principle that… the guy who complains is a…! ". Now armed with a solid background, a solid network and a valuable first partnership for the management of certain large call center implementation projects and the training of the sales teams of African distributors, the autodidact negotiates his departure from Vocalcom with Anthony Dinis to create Customer Square in 2008.

Horses and men

On a personal level, Jonathan cultivates his phlegm by indulging in his passion for horses. "I've been riding since I was little, but son of a poor man, I rode other people's horses! Today, he started a small breeding. “The contact with the horse is very special, it forces you to open up gently and calmly, to release the pressure”. Today, at 39, Jonathan Tunnicliffe is not done traveling. And if Africa keeps a special place in his collection of memories, he prefers not to mention it too much: his objectives today are elsewhere. Out of Africa, therefore… at least in form.

Customer Square has 40 major accounts, offices in Paris, Casablanca and Aix-en-Provence, and double-digit growth for nearly ten years. Specializing in customer relationship management tools and services, the Parisian company counts Canal Plus, Showroom Privé, Coriolis and Renault among its customers. Since 2012, the company has been publishing CROSS-CRM.COM, the first platform dedicated to improving customer service delivered and perceived on all channels.

Why are you reading In-Contact? Since when ?
I have been reading En-Contact since its creation… Earlier we were talking about the pioneers and the quest for knowledge of a young boy who learns on the job. Specialized media are rare and Manuel Jacquinet is one of those “seniors” whom I listen to carefully. The first telemarketing school in France (Colorado Groupe–ndlr) was set up by Manuel and was located in the same building as Voxco. I often met him and, for me, his voice and therefore this magazine is that of a central character. En-Contact allows our teams to keep abreast of news in the sector, the rather numerous profiles and interviews allow us to get an idea of ​​the personalities of the players we meet.

By Manuel Jacquinet

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