The core of Six Sigma methodology is keeping customers fulfilled and happy, so they will come back to use your product or service. Without any customers, you won’t have a business. In order to do that, you must know exactly what your customers require from your business; in other words, what is important to your customers?
Since customers vary in requirements, using the VOC (Voice of the Customer), is extremely important. There are different methods and they all have pluses and minuses.
Here are a few methods of generating the VOC:
Surveys: A small set of questions sent out to existing customers or potential customers. The pro is that it is cost effective; the con is that most won’t take the survey.
Market Research: This can be anything from one on one interviews, to focus groups and phone interviews. Each of these has its strengths and weakness. Just remember, anytime you take a customer’s time (even at the end of a transaction) it may not yield a satisfying result. Focus groups, which are a very good method for gathering information, can be too general.
Direct Customer Comments: These could be anything from customer letters, calls, and emails to customer ratings from third party websites and call center transcripts. These are usually the best, because you are dealing with actual customers who use your product or service and are specific as to what is crucial to them. As for third party websites, just make sure they are reputable.
Here is an interesting infographic outlining the Voice of the Customer:
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