For defining the ’VOC’ (Voice of the Customer), I typically use a QFD (Quality Factor Diagram) — Of recent, I have found that QFD’s can be hard to understand for some, while even more painful for belts to explain to others.

If you find this to be the case, there are 3 tools used sequentially that can arrive at a similar answer:

  1. Start with an affinity grouping diagram – This approach will help to logically group the world of potential answers you get while interviewing folks in your company. It will also help to keep the lens of the customer’s value proposition with your company on during your analysis. Two that wash to the top, for example, are website experience & customer service operators.
  2. Those groupingscan be used as two of the bones of a fishbone diagram (aka cause and effect diagram) – They are synonymous to Manpower and Machinery, two traditional bones of the diagram, if you think about it in terms of the 6 M’s. Website experience is a machine, and call center operators would equate to Man. Once you populate all of the drivers or inputs (or x’s) that affect a customer’s value proposition when they use the website or call into the call center on the fishbone, along with the other 4 bones: Methods (Process), Mother Nature (Environment), Measurements and Materials (tools to do their job), you will most likely notice a commonality between the smaller bones under each heading. For example, under website experience, Manpower (Agents, in our example), you might see inputs like training, administration/support procedures and computer response latency, which are affecting their ability to service the customer. I would expect to see computer response latency under Machinery as well. Likewise, I would expect to see administration/support procedures under Methods as well.
  3. Use those sub-bones that show up the most for fill in the next step which is to apply a cause and effect matrix, to help simplistically drive a stack ranked priority based on relative importance of each output and factor (input) to your business. In my opinion, it is a poor man’s way of extrapolating some of the same benefits that using a QFD would provide while not completing confusing the folks who are trying to distill information from the results set.
About the Author