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By: Kelsey McIntyre

Hello all! Today we will be exploring the voice of customer and how capturing it can be beneficial when learning and applying lean principles.

The voice of customer (VoC) is the customer’s expectations, preferences and comments in relation to a product or service. When addressing the concerns of your customer’s, it is important to be able to translate what they say into relevant and feasible actions. Addressing these concerns can help you to prioritize your action plans in order to really focus on necessary improvements.

The voice of customer (VoC) is the customer’s expectations, preferences and comments in relation to a product or service. This voice can be captured through a variety of methodologies: surveys, interviews, focus groups, suggestions and observations. This voice is then translated into business requirements that can be implemented by you.

An example of this would be if you wanted to improve the student experience at your university. You might send out a survey to students or you could put together a focus group. One student expressed how it was difficult to submit self-certifications when absent, especially while sick. This translates that your university needs to develop a new system for submitting self-certifications that would be more efficient.

Another example would be if you owned a pizza shop where customers put reviews and comments online. One customer commented on how long it took to receive the pizza. This translates to how you address timeliness and you might look into implementing a different mode of transportation, adjusting your pizza making methods to be faster or simply providing customers with a more accurate time for which the pizza would arrive.

By considering the voice of customer, you are able to see what parts of your business you need to prioritize in order to improve the customer experience. It may bring to light concerns you may have never considered and greatly help you develop strengthen your lean business. Successful quality improvement projects achieve cost savings and improved customer relations through an understanding of customer needs, wants and requirements and, when interpreted correctly, VoC data can help organizations understand their current place in the market and make justified changes.

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