What is Voice of the Customer? 


Voice of the customer (VOC) is an innovation process intended to help cross functional teams develop a deep understanding of customer needs so they can develop the products and services that really make a difference in the market. 

At it's heart, voice of the customer is a market research tool involves in-depth interviews with consumers or customers and observations in their natural environment. This means going out into the environment, into the lives of your customer and understanding not just what they say they want, but really what is their practices, their habits, and what their behavior is so that you can understand their deep and sometimes unarticulated needs to focus your product development efforts.

Typically the research focuses on exploring the experiences of the customer as they interact with products or processes in various use occasions, situations or context. The needs are often expressed as the customer's desired outcomes or desired experiences within context of those situations.  The role of the innovator then becomes developing solutions that delivers the desired outcome or experience for those situations.

In many product development situations it is helpful to organize the customer needs into a hierarchy, prioritized them, translate them into customer requirements and detailed design specifications.  This is often done using processes such as Quality Function Deployment (QFD). 

In other situations the focus is more to holistically understand the rational and emotional needs and use that understanding to inform strategy, innovation concept and brand development and approaches to the market.  In all cases, voice if the customer is a critical input to innovation.


Learn about Innovare's Vocal Insights voice of the customer service




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