When considering Voice of the Customer (VOC) initiatives in your organization, are you focused and asking the right questions? Lack of direction and unclear communications create results that produce failure for both the organization and their customers. The real goal of any organization is to be profitable, but when we don’t really listen to the end-users of our product or services, failure is the typical outcome. The simple act of not listening has caused the decline of revenue and profit for organizations, that otherwise offer a superior service or product.
Ask a Customer the Right Questions
Customers simply are looking to satisfy basic human needs with our products or services. In today’s digital age, those communication channels are everywhere, coming into the organization through multitudes of channels. In the course of a simple conversation, a customer will easily divulge information that is vital to the success of the organization. The key is asking the right questions to get the conversation flowing.
To ensure success with the VOC program in an organization, there are three questions that will help you focus the research:
1. What do you want to know? – Have a clear understanding of what information you want from a customer conversation.
2. Who do you want to hear from? – Determining the right group of customers that can answer your questions is crucial.
3. What are you going to do with the information? – Understanding how you are going to take action with the information gathered is critical.
Translating the Conversations
Through these conversations, organizations typically gather generic customer needs. They must take those conversations and go on to translate these generic needs into specific items called critical-to-quality requirements (CTQs). To verify that the CTQs are specific enough, the true test is to ask, Can a formula or detailed operational definition be written to describe this need? The needs should be detailed enough that they allow practitioners to align improvement or design efforts with customer requirements.
If you do not understand what you specifically need to know, you run the risk of not learning anything productive or useful to your VOC efforts.
Check out the “Voice of the Customer and CTQ” video >>>
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