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Illinois Tech

OpinionLab, the longtime leader in Voice of Customer feedback solutions, helps over 300 of the world’s best known brands listen to their customers and take real-time action on what they’re saying. Recent innovation has accelerated OpinionLab squarely into the omnichannel customer journey as pervasive mobility and empowered consumers rapidly redefine how brands interact with their customers.

With Tim Whiting, VP Marketing



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In 25 words or less, what are you all about?
We help brands effectively listen to their customers to make smarter and faster business decisions and create more customer centered cultures.

What problem do you solve and how do you solve it better than competition?
According to Gartner, 89% of brands will compete primarily on the basis of their customer experience (CX) by 2016. CX is defined as any interaction a consumer has with a brand, consequently understanding a consumer’s perceptions of your CX is critically important. Traditional website pop-up surveys, in-store receipt surveys or follow-up email surveys cannot provide the real-time engagement expected by today’s mobile, multi-screen omnichannel consumer.

OpinionLab uniquely empowers brands to better engage with consumers and compete through 3 primary differentiators:

  1. Opt-in, customer initiated engagement that non-intrusively enables consumers to provide feedback to your brand in the moments that are important to them.
  2. Simple, digital consumer comment cards, ideally suited for smart devices, which capture your consumers’ feedback together with critical context such as physical location, specific web page or mobile device type to empower you to take immediate action.
  3. Advanced analytics to segment large amounts of consumer feedback, and quickly get the right information to the right people to act and close the loop with your consumer.

How did you get started?
OpinionLab was founded 15 years ago in Highland Park to bring to market the fundamental concept that anchors the company today: Listening to customers is important, but you need to listen to them on their terms and be able to do something about what they tell you.

How has culture played a role in building your company and how do you maintain it as you grow?
As we continue our rapid growth trajectory, culture plays an exceptionally important role at OpinionLab. A culture that originated organically amongst a few now needs to be relevant across a broad and growing team. Clearly and explicitly defining our culture was a first step. Frequent and transparent communication of what our culture is and how we embody it every day helps maintain our positive momentum.

What are your primary goals for the company?
We think a lot about delivering innovation to best meet the needs of our customers, establishing the repeatability and scalability across all aspects of our business to support our aggressive growth, and bringing the talent on board to achieve both of those goals.

Where do you see the company in two years?
Our market space is accelerating, so in 2 years, who knows? But, we will certainly be in numerous new physical and digital channels that derive value from our unique solution. And, we’re seeing more of our customers leveraging what we do to help build their cultures internally, so we’ll be focusing innovation in that area.

What’s the #1 thing on your to-do list?
Find great talent (we’re hiring!)

It’s our kind of town too, but what are the pros and cons of being an Illinois business?
We moved downtown to the near West Loop two years ago and love the energy of the city. A lot of our customers are down here and we’re finding some great talent to help us on our journey.

Although it’s been steadily improving, the climate and infrastructure in Illinois for a technology company is still fairly limiting versus other geographies. Illinois tech success stories like ours exist, but they’re relatively still more of an exception than a rule.

What are the biggest challenges you are facing as you scale up your business?
Creating a scalable and repeatable business is something we think about every day. Any change is challenging, but some of the changes we have made to support our growth have required change management with our customers. We’ve successfully managed though significant change by doing what we do best, listening to our customers.

This one is all you… anything you want to tell us?
What we’ve said from the beginning, listen to your customers, on their terms, and take action on what they tell you.

This article can be found here.

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