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Why listening isn’t as easy as it sounds

4 min read
Why listening isn’t as easy as it sounds

Insight and understanding are vital if you want to make better decisions and drive improvements in business performance.  And a good starting point for gaining useful insights is listening to what people are saying, be they your customers, prospects or employees.

Moreover, acting quickly on the insights and feedback from Voice of the Customer (VoC), Voice of the Employee (VoE), and market research programs is essential if you want to drive customer and employee engagement and contribute to business success. In principle this all sounds pretty straightforward; it’s simply a question of listening to your customers and employees.

However, in reality, there are four major barriers you need to tackle if you really want to make a success of the listening process:

1. The complexity of your organizational and customer audience structures

Segmenting your internal structures so that you are listening to the most relevant people around specific issues can be a time-consuming and resource-heavy task. Particularly as there are can be frequent – sometimes radical – restructures as companies evolve to compete in changing markets. The upshot is the creation of complex hierarchies that can be difficult to map, with reporting structures that change regularly.

Similarly, while most companies today might know more about their customers than ever before, using the huge volume of customer demographics at their disposal to effectively target the right people with the right questions is still a major undertaking. Mapping audience structures can add weeks and months to feedback projects – by which time any insight gained might be past its ‘sell-buy date’.

2. The challenge of making a connection

Even when you have identified the right people, it can still be a major ask when you try to connect with them.

It’s easy for survey invitations to be ignored or overlooked, adding time and cost to the feedback collection process. And more importantly, many people want to give feedback in ways that are not easy to capture. Traditional questionnaires often focus on quantifying experiences rather than asking people what they really think. For example, asking people to rate an experience on a scale of 1-10 gives you some data but not the whole picture. Instead, newer formats such as online communities let you engage more deeply and receive far more powerful, useful insight from employees and customers alike. On top of this relying on the traditional survey process on its own is simply too slow, costly and cumbersome – with no guarantee you’ll get useful feedback at the end.

3. Embracing multi-device feedback collection

Even though we live in a mobile-first world, we need to be aware that people want to give feedback through a variety of devices, from their PC to smartphones and tablets. Many companies have customer bases that span different demographics and ways of interacting and have a workforce that is multi-generational. Therefore, to gain the deepest insight you need to make it simple and straightforward for everyone of your people to give their opinions through whichever device they feel most comfortable with, at the time of their choosing.

4. Making feedback collection quick and easy for managers

Things change fast in business today so ideally, you want to managers to be able to listen and monitor what people are saying in real-time and to be able to engage in an always-on dialogue with them. But with traditional survey technology, you usually need specialist skills and resources to set up and run surveys – which can hinder access to insight and make it difficult for managers to listen. If your goal is to place insight at the core of your business, then make it easy and quick for managers to collect feedback.

At Questback we’ve seen that for many organizations the current process for feedback collection is no longer up to the task, so we’ve set out to overcome the key obstacles highlighted above.

Say hello to Orbit and Portals

Questback’s has introduced two new modules, Orbit and Portals that provide you with the ability to listen and act on what key audiences are saying – fast. Both link to the Questback Enterprise Feedback Suite (EFS), to put humans at the core of your feedback processes, empowering you to collect, connect and act on essential feedback in minutes rather than days.

Orbit cuts time and complexity out of the process of reaching your audiences. With just a few simple clicks it allows you to map highly complex hierarchical structures, such as organizational reporting lines, or demographics within customer data and market research samples, using flat participant lists from existing business systems. It does this in minutes, not weeks, giving you the context and ability to precisely target the right people and parts of your audience in to find out what matters most to your business.

Portals are dynamic online communities for your people. They not only give feedback a place to live, they make it easily accessible with an engaging mobile app. An online space that’s easy to set up and use, Portals allows you to launch feedback communities and surveys quickly and easily without having to rely on traditional invitations like the tired old email. It makes it easy for you to connect with your people.

While they are available as separate modules, Portals and Orbit were developed together, meaning they work seamlessly as one. It only takes a moment to explore your Orbit, find the right audience, and invite them to a discussion through a Portal. Together they close the loop between insight and action by providing a listening platform that delivers feedback at the speed of thought.

To find out more and see Orbit and Portals, watch our video.


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