Understanding the Voice of the Customer

Posted by on Jul 2, 2011 in Design for Lean Six Sigma, Lean Six Sigma | 1 comment

Understanding your customers, their requirements and needs, is critical when conducting Lean Six Sigma and DFSS projects.  In order to make any improvement in an existing process, it is important to know what your customers expect and their Critical to Quality characteristics (CTQ’s).  In a Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) project, understanding the VOC will enhance your ability to design new robust products and services that meet or exceed their expectations.
The voice of a customer is an actual quote or set of requirements captured directly from an individual.  A customer is anyone whose interest you represent or whose perspective can add value to your understanding of a problem.

Why listen to the VOC?  We listen to the customer:
  • To improve new product profitability and reduce time to market
  • To reduce risks by placing the customer needs at the center of the development process
  • To understand the key factors which deliver value to the customer
  • To define a customer’s key product requirements
  • To determine the priorities of these requirements
  • To facilitate trade-off decisions during improvement and product development
  • To define how the new product aligns with market realities and delivers superior value compared to the competition

Gathering the VOC typically breaks down into the following general areas:
  1. Define who to visit, call, or survey by defining the market segments for the business.
  2. Prepare a customer interview or survey questionnaire.
  3. Visit, call, or survey an appropriate number of customers.
  4. Review and formally document the VOC data gathered.

To truly understand your customer’s requirements takes time and effort, but is absolutely essential to the success of any project.

One Response to “Understanding the Voice of the Customer”

  1. Explained in fabulous manner to help out reader and visitors. All information found here is genuine and realistic.!@
    Customer Questionnaire

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