from Applied Marketing Science 7/13 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
Voice of the Customer is the set of needs or problems that your Customers have, be they individual consumers or firms in B2B markets. Your Company must identify these needs and develop creative products & services that address them.
The Voice of the Customer is also a Process: the qualitative & quantitative methods & tools that companies use to understand & react to customer needs. We believe that the Voice of the Customer is a set of customer needs that is:
· Complete, when fully understood
· Expressed in the customers’ own Language (try to understand it) If not ask Questions to Clarify
· Organized into a Hierarchy of need (ie, most important on top); and
· Prioritized by importance to the Customer and their current Satisfaction (ie, more urgent if they’re not happy and may tell others)
Why listen to the Voice of the Customer? A cross-industry study by the PDMA Foundation observed that listening to the Voice of the Customer in new product development was among the most common & most effective “best practices” at the most successful U.S. firms. Here’s why:
· Voice of the Customer reduces new Product failures.
Most products fail within a year of launch, and the most often cited reason is: “Failure to understand the customers’ wants & needs”. Voice of the Customer clarifies, up front, the underlying wants & needs that drive customers to seek solutions in new products, and increases your chances of delivering a product that customers actually want to buy. [That’s what it’s all about.
· Voice of the Customer reduces Time to Market.
Reducing time-to-market, and more importantly, time-to-profit [Yea !!!] is a management imperative. Research has shown that companies that take the time to understand what customers want before finalizing the development phase can get that product into Customers’ hands much faster and they will buy it.
· Voice of the Customer identifies “disruptive” Opportunities
The theory of disruptive innovation holds that: “Markets are ripe for disruption when leading products perform strongly in meeting the needs of the main-stream market, but under-perform in meeting the needs of non-customers. Asking then listening to the Voice of the Customer can help you identify customer segments that are driven by fundamentally different needs, which are not currently well-served by existing products. This is your opportunity to fit into this Niche’.
Comments: Is there anything else we could do, to listen to the Voice of the Customer?