Why is it important to listen to your customer?
Six Sigma Green Belt training requires you to be familiar with many terminologies. Voice of Customer is just one. Let’s look at the DMAIC structure for Six Sigma projects and, more specifically, the DEFINE stage. This is where the project’s scope and purpose are defined. You can’t jump into a project unless you know the goals, as you can also learn in the free Lean Six Sigma course.
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Understanding the Six Sigma approach to project goals is only possible if you understand the needs of the customer (Voice of Customer, VoB), and the potential benefits that the process can provide (Voice of Process, VoP).
What is VoC, Voice of Business & Voice of Process? Let’s take a look.
What is Voice of Customer?
Voice of Customer, also known as VoC, is one of the most important topics of the Six Sigma Define Phase. The Voice of the Customer Six Sigma, in its simplest form, is the expression of customer wants and needs. VoC is a collective understanding of the client’s needs, wants and preferences that can be gained through direct and indirect questions. These insights are used to create meaningful objectives that help close the gap between customers’ expectations and the firm’s offerings. VoC is a term that originated in Total Quality Management (TQM), and has been adopted by Six Sigma Techniques as a requirement for project implementations.
Voice of the Customer: Putting emphasis on what is important
The Define phase requires that the team clearly understands the process requirements. This includes listening to Voice of the Customer data and Voice of the Business data. The VoC is essential to ensure that the team is focusing on the most important things. The Voice of Customer data is the customer’s needs and wants. These customers could be internal or external customers.
There are two types of Voice of Customer
Let’s dive into Voice of the Customer methodology. There are two types of VoC data.
Reactive data is the first data type that Voice of Customer uses. It is found under the categories customer complaints, compliments and feedback, hotline data as well as product returns and warranty claims. It is not surprising that this data is often negative and difficult to hear. This data often represents significant improvement opportunities. It is common for customers to complain after they have used a product or service several times. Another option is for dissatisfied customers to simply switch to a competitor instead of filing a complaint.
This second type of data is called proactive data. It can be gathered from customer interviews, focus groups, surveys, observations, and/or test customers. This data type can also help identify key improvement opportunities.
Voice of Business: What business needs do you have?
Let’s now get a quick overview of Voice of Business data. VoB stands for Voice of the Business. The VoC is an important aspect of the business, but the Voice of the Business is just as important. Financial information and data are the key to the voice of a business. Voice of Business summarizes all business needs, including profitability, growth, market share, and revenue. This is the question: Why do we need to collect VoB information? The answer is easy! The customer may want everything today, and all the trimmings free. This strategy will make a company’s customers very happy and it won’t keep them in business long. The concept is the same, even though the data sources might be different for Voice of Business Data. The team must also determine what is relevant for the business. VoB data is the definition of the firm’s boundary conditions.