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
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.
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of the customer service
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