What is Voice of the Customer?
Voice of the Customer is the set of needs or problems that your customers have, be they individual consumers
or firms in B2B markets. The product team must identify these needs and develop creative products and services
that address them.
(Click here to learn what Voice of the Customer is not.)
The Voice of the Customer is also a process: the qualitative and quantitative methods and tools that companies use to understand and react to customer needs. At AMS, we believe that the Voice of the Customer is a set of customer needs that is:
- Expressed in the customers’ own language
- Organized into a hierarchy; and
- Prioritized by importance and current satisfaction
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 and 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 a failure to understand the customers’ wants and needs. Voice of the Customer clarifies, up front, the underlying wants and needs that drive customers to seek solutions in new products, and increases your chances of delivering a product that customers actually want to buy.
- Voice of the Customer reduces time to market
Reducing time-to-market, and more importantly, time-to-profit, is a management imperative. Research has shown that companies that take the time to understand what customers want before diving into the design phase can get that product into customers’ hands faster.
- Voice of the Customer identifies disruptive opportunities
Clayton Christensen’s theory of disruptive innovation holds that markets are ripe for disruption when leading products perform strongly in meeting the needs of the mainstream market, but underperform in meeting the needs of non-customers. 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.
How can we help?
Contact us to learn about our approach to Voice of the Customer, and how it remains the best way to ensure that you understand what your customers want.