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Posted on Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

Ann Arbor-based tech company continues international growth

By Ben Freed


CEO Larry Freed and ForeSee employees onstage to accept the Company of the Year award during the 2011 Deals of the Year event.

Jeff Sainlar |

ForeSee was the Company of the Year winner at last year's Deals of the Year event, but CEO Larry Freed said the company has not been resting on its laurels. The customer satisfaction firm has experienced growth of at least 25 percent every quarter since its inception, including the first two quarters of 2012, numbers 41 and 42.

With the constantly growing business, ForeSee has continued to expand in Ann Arbor while at the same time looking across the country and across the world for new opportunities. Freed said he’d added 35 to 40 employees thus far in 2012 and was looking to add another 15 to 20 before the end of the year.

“Expansion gives us great growth capability,” he said.

“We work with large companies and help measure their customer satisfaction. We have about half of the Fortune 100 right now who are our clients.”

ForeSee operates their headquarters in Ann Arbor on Green Road near Plymouth Road, but also has offices in Vancouver, New York City, and the United Kingdom. Freed said about 220 of the company's 260 employees are in Ann Arbor, and he intends to continue expanding both here and in other offices.

One of the company’s newest endeavors is an agreement with a company to work as a “distributor” of their products in Brazil.

“We’re really excited about this model and the economy down there,” Freed said.

“We launched the partnership down there a couple of months ago on July 4. We have a team of about a half dozen down there getting everything going. We think this could be a great way to expand through other areas where we would have a more difficult time growing organically.”


ForeSee CEO Larry Freed said he has seen improvement in Ann Arbor's entrepreneur community over the past 5 years, but there's still room to grow.

Angela J. Cesere |

The expansion to the UK was done by opening an official ForeSee office, and Freed said that having two different models available for expansion internationally is ideal.

ForeSee’s core business of gauging online customer satisfaction, based on a version of the American Customer Satisfaction Index licensed from the University of Michigan 10 years ago, also has added new bells and whistles during the past year. Freed was most excited about a new session replay product that allows companies to go back and “replay” the action when a customer logs a complaint.

“It’s like being able to go back and look over the shoulder of the customer who’s having the problem. It allows us to go from analysis to visualization,” Freed said.

“It speeds up internal acceptance of the problem and speeds up the ability to go in and troubleshoot a solution to that problem.”

Freed said a customer approached him and told him after adding this program they were able to solve a problem whose fix led to $2 million per week in recaptured revenue.

ForeSee is looking at how take their technology and make it easier to use on mobile devices as well. Freed said the mobile market currently is the biggest growing trend on the horizon, and it’s helping to eliminate old preceptions.

“In retail, everything used to be location, location, location. Technology is eliminating that,” he said.

“Our customers and clients say you have to help us across all channels now. We see that ‘omni-channel’ relationship continuing to expand.”

Despite all the changes and growth, Freed is committed to keeping his company in Ann Arbor. However, unlike software giant Barracuda Networks, he is not planning to move his offices downtown anytime soon.

“There’s a part of me that says it would be great, and I wouldn’t rule it out,” he said.

“But I’m concerned with parking and the ability to have continued growth downtown. I think there are great things about being in an urban setting but it would be very tough for us to find a space big enough for us where we could also continue to grow.”

Freed said that as long as the company continues to abide by its twin missions of satisfying its customers and being fiscally responsible, he foresees nothing but further growth in the future.

“It’s easy to satisfy customers if you give your product away for free,” he said. “But that’s not very good business.”

Ben Freed covers business for Reach him at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2


Micah Leener

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 12:21 p.m.

Written by Ben Freed, the CEOs son. Why would the CEO worry about parking - CEOs usually have a spot of their own right next to the door dont they?

Kyle Mattson

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 12:24 p.m.

Micah- Ben has no relation to Larry Freed.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 4 a.m.

Did they take away Avalon housing prior award for the Near North project? If not, those of us who continue to suffer the fallout of this debacle want to know why.


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 3:20 p.m.

Worst. Surveys. Ever. I took one of their online surveys after visiting I was having problems with the functionality of the site (there was some error with the shopping cart) and after being prompted to take a survey hosted by ForeSee, I decided to give some feedback to alert them to the problems. Really all I wanted to do was say, hey, fix your site, but I was game for answering a few questions and spending a modest amount of time to give some feedback as a loyal customer. I am not kidding when I say the survey literally took well over an hour. There were upwards of a hundred (maybe two hundred) different questions. In retrospect, I should've just emailed customer support and not even attempted the survey. Lesson learned. I was a loyal Levi's customer and I vowed to never buy from their online store again. That boycott lasted for a little while, but now I still will never, ever, take a survey hosted by ForeSee. It's ironic they are called a customer satisfaction firm. Consumers aren't dissatisfied with ForeSee's customers. They are dissatisfied with ForeSee. Great business model. Not.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 4:26 p.m.

Eric, you sound like someone who competes again ForeSee instead of being a customer of Levi's. It's a great company with a great product! You should check them out!!!

Kai Petainen

Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 12:53 p.m.

cool firm. keep up the great work!


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 12:05 p.m.

I always click "No" when they ask me to take a survey.