Feedback Capital: It pays to listen to the customer

Feedback Capital is a cluster of three companies, allowing each of the participating companies to focus on their core competence, and giving their customers a comprehensive service of customer experience management. Feedback Capital is also proof that the Tampere region could actually be world-famous for its local expertise in customer experience measurement.

Taplause, Roidu and Surveypal all work in measuring customer experience. Traditionally, the field has focused on the concept of feedback, usually understood to mean complaints, but these three companies began by redefining the whole concept: it’s all about the desire to understand the customer, and for this specific matter, Feedback Capital companies offer solutions, both together and separately.

“Customer experience must be understood and felt on a sufficient level so that it can be employed to develop services or products,” says Arttu Viitanen, entrepreneur from Roidu.

“Another thing that all Feedback Capital companies have in common is easiness. Giving feedback and utilising it must be easy,” says Mirko Lännenpää, CEO of Taplause.

“The demand for measuring customer experience and employee wellbeing has been increasing and continues to grow,” says Samuli Zetterberg, founder of Surveypal.

Tampere Region Economic Development Agency Tredea acted as an accelerator when Taplause, Roidu and Surveypal decided to launch their cooperation. The companies were already familiar with each other and had acted as practical partners, so combining some of their operations was not that big of a stretch.

“When talking with Oula Välipakka from Tredea, we realised that very often the customer for all our companies is one and the same, so why should all three of us chase after them, when we could team up and close the deal together,” says Lännenpää.

Each company also continues to have their own customers, but when a customer needs a comprehensive solution to support their management, Feedback Capital is able to bring about that solution across company boundaries. At the same time, each company is able to focus on their core competence.

Feedback Capital Tampere
Mirko Lännenpää and Arttu Viitanen from Feedback Capital estimate that, as a whole, partnering business is not utilised enough, and that the desire to do everything independently may even slow down company development.

All three Feedback Capital companies were born of practical experience and a need for more efficient feedback. In his previous career, Mirko Lännenpää from Taplause was very familiar with situations in which customer feedback reached decision-makers through too many bends in the road and came in too late from the management perspective.

“Around 2011, we sat down together and discussed how we could bring the views of our customers to the management in real time. Taplause was founded the next year,” says Lännenpää.

“The concept of Roidu was born when the first iPads were launched in 2010. We felt that these devices should definitely be utilised in measuring experience, since they are ideally suited for the purpose by their size, functionality and cost-efficiency,” says Viitanen.

“The idea for Surveypal came already in 2006, when I was working at Tampere University of Technology and met a consultant in need of a nimble tool to collect quick feedback for a piloting project for insurance company Varma,” says Zetterberg.

Samuli Zetterberg (Photo: Surveypal)

Why is Tampere the Feedback Capital, the capital city of managing feedback? Lännenpää from Taplause thinks that the atmosphere and size of the city both help. Companies in the field are located close to one another and, with proper support, joining forces is easy. Zetterberg from Surveypal also thanks the hard-core competence of the Tampere-based universities. It has clearly been an asset when developing the field.

“Understanding customer experience is becoming an increasingly critical factor in business, and in Tampere there is a lot of enthusiasm and innovation for further development,” says Zetterberg.

So it is not unlikely that when somebody, somewhere in the world needs solutions for measuring customer experience, they will contact Tampere. For the last couple of years, Surveypal has been opening its market in Silicon Valley, where they get to see what the top companies focusing in customer experience do.

“It has been highly educational and exciting to get to develop feedback processes on Zendesk and ServiceNow platforms, among others, in Silicon Valley together with their key customers and product development teams,” says Zetterberg.

Zetterberg says that in Silicon Valley, they really understand that customer acquisition is much more expensive than keeping the existing customer base, so it really pays to listen to the customer.

“Differentiating oneself can be a challenge for many companies in the tough international market. For some companies, better customer experience can even be the only way to differentiate themselves and find new competitive edge,” says Zetterberg.

Before the interview, Mirko Lännenpää and Arttu Viitanen found the time to exchange a few words regarding a common customer and agree on what is to come. “That’s how it goes, our cooperation is easy,” says Lännenpää.

Tampere – Smart City and Feedback Capital

Tero Blomqvist, Program Director, Smart Tampere:

“One of the most vital smart city operations is to listen to the residents and customers, and convert the information they give us into better and better services and products. It’s great that Tampere-based companies are the forerunners in digital feedback management. The city itself has successfully employed resident involvement and listening to its residents in suburban development projects in, among others, Koklaamo, where everyday solutions are being developed in cooperation between residents and companies.”

Niina Immonen, Customer Director, Smart City Solutions, Tredea Oy:

“The starting point of developing a smart city has to be that the residents, companies and city representatives get to develop things together and to utilise various available data, technology and innovations. The cornerstones of development are constant feedback and interaction. Feedback is always useful, as Taplause will tell us, also when developing a smart city.”

Oula Välipakka, Customer Director, Renewing Industry, Tredea Oy:

“I feel it is exceptional that so many companies that have reached a strong national and even international coverage have been born here in Tampere. For example, in April, Financial Times noted HappyOrNot in their list of 1,000 fastest-growing European companies. HappyOrNot currently holds position 212 on the FT1000 list, making it the highest-ranking Finnish company on the list.”

Tampere-based companies operating in the field include:

Translation: Lingoneer

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