Vox is a customer-experience consulting firm based in Chicago. Using its trademarked CustomerspectiveTM Process, Vox helps its clients provide a comprehensive and integrated “Customer Experience” that drives retention, cross-sales, referrals and bottom-line results dramatically higher.
Vox started in 1997 as a marketing communications agency but over time evolved into a firm that focuses primarily on customer retention, an important but often overlooked area in many service-oriented businesses. Vox created a niche in the Chicago market as being “the voice of the customer experience” and quickly found themselves in high demand among Fortune 500 companies.
The company’s rapid growth and new direction as a “Customer Experience” company presented a number of challenges, said Bill Cusick, company founder and president. “It was overwhelming,” Bill said. “We needed help managing our staff and resources.” Vox began with 13 staff members and needed to hire more staff to meet the demand for the company’s services. But, Bill was concerned how to effectively manage the growth while maintaining the ideals that he started Vox with in 1997. “We wanted the company to grow, yet retain the culture that we started with,” Bill said. In addition, with the company growing so quickly, management had difficulty establishing the company’s processes and procedures in a timely manner and in concert with the company’s growth and direction. “We had no long-term strategic vision,” Bill said. “Everything we did – hiring employees, compensation packages, our processes – was very ad hoc.”
Vox called on Anchor Advisors for assistance in 2005. Brad Farris, principal advisor of Anchor Advisors, worked closely with Bill and Executive Vice President Jeannie Walters on establishing budgets and long-term strategic goals for the company. Brad also helped the company establish specific hiring and training processes, including well-defined job descriptions for every employee.
In addition, Brad served as a management resource as the need arose. “Brad knows that we got here by trusting our gut. He doesn’t tell us to ignore our instincts, he just helps us do more with them by using proven business practices,” Jeannie said.
During the time Vox has partnered with Anchor Advisors, Vox has grown from 13 employees to 25 employees, and sales have increased by 35 percent. Bill said he views Brad as a “trusted advisor” and someone he could go to as a sounding board for important management issues. “I would call Brad a CEO confidante,” Bill said. “When you’re in charge, there are issues you can’t talk to anybody about – but you still need to talk about them.” Brad provided an outside perspective and a sense of calm in a time of intense business growth and development. Jeannie said, “Brad wants constructive feedback as much as we do – so it’s more of a partnership and it creates a high level of trust.” Vox continues to work with Anchor Advisors on improving and refining its processes as the company grows. Jeannie said, “Oftentimes, as executives, we’re left with the question of, where do we start? We know we need something – a sales plan, a better hiring process, etc. – but we don’t know the best resources. Brad helps us find them and gets us started on the right path.”
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