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QFD Voice of the Customer Analysis (VOC)

"Understanding the 'true' needs of customers requires work on the part of designers and planners," says Glenn Mazur, executive director of the QFD Institute.

It has never been an easy task; just ask anyone who has designed a product for what the customer thought he wanted, only to find out that the product was still not acceptable. For example, marketers often rely on surveys to gauge consumers' preference and predict shopper behaviors. Yet, study of internet surveys often reveals that online consumers often do not behave the way that they said they would in a survey.

It is not that customers lie. More likely, we, the product planners and designers, did not do a good job in reading and translating their true needs. We have a natural tendency to take the stated voice of customers at face value as if it is the only requirement that needs to be satisfied; to presume that customers know what they want; and to trust that customers can express their wants.

Hear what you don't know you don't know

The humbling facts are that many studies have shown that the stated customer wants are only a starting point in design; and that customers speak their own language that is not of the world of the producers; and that customer do not always know what they want.

The last point is especially true with a brand new product and technology. How can we expect the customers to know 'what' and 'how' to ask for something that they do not know? How do we know whether the market and customers are ready and willing to pay for your new technology? And, how do we know which needs to focus when they seem constantly changing over time technology, market segment, and so forth?

Modern QFD Voice of the Customer (VOC) Tools

The Voice of the Customer Analysis tools and techniques in Modern QFD were created to break through this dilemma. The front-end tools of Modern QFD help identify the customer needs and requirements that might be unspoken and invisible to both the customer and the producer.

Further, Modern QFD helps identify the opportunities to build excitement in the product design, while assuring that the expected customer requirements do not fall through the cracks. Here are some of the examples:

The new tools and how to implement modern Voice of Customer analytic tools are taught in the public courses (the links below) as well as in-company training.

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© QFD Institute / Glenn Mazur  


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