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Meet Leslie Willis

02 Apr Posted by in Cactus Call | Comments Off on Meet Leslie Willis
Meet Leslie Willis

Name: Leslie Willis

Title: Sr. Manager – Segment Marketing, Customer Experience & Insights

Company: T-Mobile Home + Entertainment

Current City: Denver, CO

Hometown: Coffeeville, MS / Memphis, TN

Years in the market research industry: 16

What duties does your current job position include? I’m responsible for all things retention-related for T-Mobile’s Pay TV product – Layer3 TV by T-Mobile. I help oversee the pre-sale customer experience on the web, in our telesales department, and in T-Mobile retail stores and am also responsible for the post-sale customer experience which includes communication strategies, loyalty initiatives, churn prevention strategies, and more. In addition, I’ve been tasked with defining the ideal Layer3 TV customer and evangelizing our target audience/segments across the T-Mobile org.

What’s the best aspect of your current job position? Because I’m not in a traditional research role at T-Mobile, I have been able to take on new types of projects, learn new software and programming languages, and really grow my skill sets in areas of the business I’ve previously not been exposed to in my career. I have an amazing leadership team that’s invested in my personal and professional growth and that challenges me constantly and I have smart, dedicated co-workers who make coming to work every day fulfilling and fun! T-Mobile was ranked #49 on Fortune’s 100 Best Places to Work list for 2019, so being fortunate enough to work for a company that truly cares about its employees and their happiness is an amazing aspect of my job as well!

…and the worst (if there is one)? Not having a traditional research/insights job description and not being involved in the day-to-day fun of consumer insights projects! However – while I do miss actively designing and conducting research – I’m very lucky to be able to lean on an insanely talented Consumer Insights team at our company headquarters in Bellevue, WA.
What do you see coming in the market research industry during the next five years? Personally (and selfishly), I hope to see more advances in text and speech analytics. Our customers’ experiences and their willingness to talk about them with us are the ultimate resource to understand what’s truly happening in our business, but we struggle with effectively defining the key themes of those experiences because there are so many subtle nuances to customer interactions that our existing analytics tools just can’t pick up on. Being able to leverage the vast amount of text and voice feedback we get from our customers with more sophisticated and predictive tools will be key to ongoing product growth and customer experience initiatives.

How did you first come to work in market research? I moved to Denver a few weeks after graduating college and had no idea what I wanted to do, so I bought a local newspaper and applied for some jobs listed in the classified section. (Yes, I’m a dinosaur!) One of those jobs was for a receptionist position at a focus group facility called Ingather Research. The owner of that facility – Christine Cook – hired me on the spot during my interview and over the next few years gave me roles with increasing responsibility at the facility. She was a great mentor who taught me a ton about the industry and ultimately guided me into a long-standing career in research.

What led to you to joining the Insights Association? I attended my first Southwest Chapter conference in Las Vegas in 2006 and I was hooked! The educational and networking opportunities available in this organization are nothing short of phenomenal, and the people aren’t half-bad, either. ?
To what other professional organizations do you belong? None – I only have eyes for the MRA

What is your educational background? I hold a BA in Sociology from the University of Memphis

Where else have you worked in the past – including non-MR positions? Ingather Research (focus group facility), Authentic Response (panel provider), Metropolitan State University of Denver (Office of Institutional Research), ConStat (full-service research provider), Sports Authority, Medallia (CX software provider), and 9NEWS (Denver’s NBC affiliate)

What do you do in your spare time – hobbies or activities? I’m a (stereo)typical Coloradoan and love all things outdoors! I’m an avid kayaker, hiker, and camper during the summer months and enjoy snowshoeing and snowboarding during the winter. I try to travel internationally to experience new cultures a few times a year and I love finding and trying new restaurants in Denver’s growing fine dining scene.

What would others be surprised to know about you? I am really into live music and have seen my favorite band live in concert over 100 times, both in the US and in international destinations!

Favorite movie? Monty Python and the Holy Grail – hands down.

Final comment or quotable: I’m so exited to be back serving on the board of this incredible organization and am looking forward to meeting and learning from new colleagues and friends!