"There is only one valid purpose of business; to create a customer."

The Voice of the Customer (VOC)
The customer is your most important concern...

The Voice of the Customer (VOC) is about understanding the customers' needs. Vital information from the customer can be used for many different improvement activities. The primary objective for collecting the VOC is to provide improved products and/or services. The basic premise for using the customer's voice, is to define expectations and needs. Needs that they may not even know they have and expectations that exceed their wildest dreams.

Both time and money can be saved by carefully listening to what a customer says. Eighty percent of new products fail in the market place because no one paid attention to this most critical aspect - - the customer. For that reason, collecting the VOC is the first thing an organization should embark on when entering the market with a new product or service, or in the redesign of an existing product or service.  We adhere to the Kano Model to understand customer needs and customer satisfaction.

A Voice of the Customer (VOC) process is customer-centered and clarifies the “fuzzy front end” of the product and/or service development process. It comes before the detailed design and implementation process. It includes a data collection and scrubbing methodology for analyzing customer feedback. It assumes that the customers' needs should drive the product and or service development cycle.

We facilitate Voice of the Customer (VOC) customer focus groups that allow your customers to give their input on their true needs for a product and/or service.  We then take that information and create product specifications and requirements using Quality Function Deployment (QFD) methodology. 

Our methodology is a comprehensive language processing system, designed to identify the "Voice of the Customer" at its most basic level.  One of the keys to getting good customer data is to insure that the customer is giving you his or her true needs, and not solutions to your product or service challenges.  Our system involves the following steps.

Step 1. - Interviewing.  Each customer is interviewed one-on-one in in-depth  sessions.  Interviews are conducted with communication techniques guaranteed to gather information that is unbiased and clear.  We insure that the information is not generalized, deleted or distorted.  All interviews are tape recorded and/or video taped to insure accuracy and are then transcribed verbatim.

Step 2. - Language Processing.  The transcripts are analyzed to extract key concepts and phrases. Quality characteristics from phrases and concepts are determined from the data.  The data are then formally classified.

Step 3. - Theme Analysis. Once the data has been documented, additional analysis is conducted to identify and group re-occurring themes.

Step 4.  - Determining Importance Ratings. Focus groups or paper and pencil surveys are then conducted with customers.  Customers rate the importance of their needs using a 100 point scale to insure a robust ratio analysis of the data collected.  Customers also rate the competition on how well they are meeting the identified needs.

Step 5. - Begin The Quality Function Deployment (QFD) Process.  The organization is now ready to take the true needs of their customers and begin the process of identifying how they will meet those needs in the products and services they provide. 

It is now time to begin working in the first matrix in a QFD process, The House of Quality.

Read more about the Voice of the Customer (VOC) process.


The QFD Process
Robust methodology for implementing change...

Hoshin Kanri

We follow one of the most robust methodologies for product development: Quality Function Deployment. Karen Roberts has been facilitating and teaching Quality Function Deployment (QFD) methodologies for the past 25 years. We provide exceptional product development team facilitation using QFD as a guiding methodology. We also teach workshops on QFD that are comprehensive, effective and concise. Just-in-time training methods can be employed throughout a team's QFD project.

She has a comprehensive background with advanced QFD techniques, including technology deployment, cost deployment, and reliability deployment. Based on the needs of the customer, customized QFD models can be created. The scope of what IMPACTure can provide to a QFD project team ranges from conducting formal training in QFD to determining appropriate market segments and competition, designing and moderating customer focus groups, analyzing market/industry data, facilitating product development projects using QFD methodology.

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The Hoshin Kanri Process
Robust methodology for implementing change...

Hoshin Kanri

Before there was QFD (Quality Function Deployment), there was Hoshin Kanri.  Hoshin Kanri is one of the most powerful planning tools available to organizations today, allowing for breakthrough innovations and continuous improvement. It provides a method for creating a comprehensive communication system between all levels of employees, keeping everyone focused on meeting the organization’s goals.

Hoshin Kanri is a step-by-step strategic planning process. The literal translation of Hoshin Kanri can have several American meanings. "Ho" meaning method or form and "shin" meaning shining needle or compass. Kanri means management or control; a methodology for strategic direction setting.

Hoshin Kanri provides an elegant method for creating a comprehensive communication system between all levels of employees, keeping everyone focused on meeting organizational goals.

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Organization Development
Change is the only constant in organizational growth...

Strategic Planning and Change Management

Organizational development (OD) is an application of behavioral science to organizational change. We work with organizations to ensure that QFD (Quality Function Deployment) is introduced into your organization in a way that matches your corporate culture.  OD encompasses a wide array of theories, processes, and activities, all of which are oriented toward the goal of creating positive organizational change.

Working with executive management teams, we facilitate the groups understanding of the competition, assess the current environment, help design and facilitate executive management teams, build product development teams that will be leading the QFD (Quality Function Deployment) efforts, design customized focus groups with team members and customers and help to identify road blocks that could undermine change efforts.

All of our training can be customized to fit your organization's individual culture.  We provide cradle to grave project management for your product development efforts.

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We offer workshops in all content areas related to organization development and strategic planning.

Hoshin Kanri Basics »

SWOT Analysis »

Voice of the Customer »

Team Development »

Online Training

Visit our sister site LearnFirm.com for our online QFD training.

Hoshin Kanri »

SWOT Analysis »

Voice of the Customer »

Quality Function Deployment »

Quality Tools for Teams »

Contact Us

Contact us for a free quote on how we can provide training and consulting in Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and the Voice of the Customer (VOC).