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A service center may performing at consistent service levels, but the customer retention and satisfaction index may be low. Direct measurement of customer perceptions using questionnaires or focus groups is more telling than service level metrics.
In the Measure phase of the Six Sigma DMAIC improvement methodology, data is collected and analyzed to provide a performance baseline for the process under study. Asking questions is one of the primary ways of collecting data. How can you ensure that they are going to collect useful information?
Once you decide what you want to know, from whom you want to know it, and what you will do with the data, you must carefully consider what method is best suited for gathering customer information for your Six Sigma project. This article summarizes eight types of data collection methods.
A chain of medical diagnostic clinics was developed from the ground up. After two years of hectic expansion marked by acquisitions and setting up green field clinics across a number of cities, the chain wanted to improve the turnaround time of patients and customer service.
Almost all organizations identify customer satisfaction as an area for improvement and as key to business success. In this installment of a three-part case study in creating customer delight, a medical diagnostic center tackles patient problems identified through observation and feedback.
In the final installment of this three-part case study, a medical diagnostic clinic reduces the turnaround time of lab reports, improving cycle time for 90 percent of blood tests and increasing customer satisfaction.
After starting a project and gathering VOC data, it is time to define the critical-to-quality outputs. To prioritze their actions during this process, practitioners may use a quality function deployment (QFD), also known as the house of quality.
A VOC survey revealed that a company's telephone operator response was poor and customer satisfaction was low. The resulting improvement efforts show how a service process can be turned around using Six Sigma.
The Lean Six Sigma project leader has to determine how products or services affects customer behavior not just what the customer says. An enhanced VOC data collection process can improve project execution and make the project leader's job easier.
Organizations can keep their customers delighted by brainstorming about ways to help them meet their goals and testing solutions on internal employees.
There is no limit to the misunderstanding, abuse, wrong interpretations, wasted resources, poor management and employee dissatisfaction that may result from improperly used customer satisfaction surveys. Learn to avoid these problems and capture valuable customer feedback.
Value stream analysis can uncover activities that add waste to a typical help desk organization. Then that analysis can lead to the implementation of a Lean Six Sigma help desk design, along with the necessary tools to ensure success.
Even the Internet economy requires customer interaction for quality purposes. Learn how to build productive customer relationships that help you offer higher quality products and services.
The Internet eliminates entry barriers to global markets and little differentiates your business from your competition. Will Baldridge, TQM and Six Sigma support your Internet business processes or will new e-conomy tools, such as CRM, become as necessary as FMEA and SPC?
In manufacturing circles it is generally accepted that inspections are money wasted. But in the world of software that is definitely not the case. This brief case study uses scorecards to illustrate the value and payoff that can be realized by introducing software inspections.
Before an organization can gather accurate voice-of-the-customer-data, it must answer some basic questions about the nature of its various customer gruops.
There is a kind of data that gets less press than the numbers so visible in almost all Six Sigma work language data. The fact that it receives less exposure does not mean it is less worthy of exploration.
A number of useful ways exist for processing and using language data, among them pre-processing raw language data for specific uses, focusing on an efficient data sample and distilling the data for particular purposes.
Net promoter scores (NPSs) are an economical and concise way to assess how loyal a companys customers are. Managing that metric is the key to future growth. Companies using NPS must narrow their focus and consider the influence of value.
Many organizations use surveys to gather information to learn more about their customers. To prepare a successful survey, practitioners should follow nine basic steps that focus on its design and audience; the first three steps are explored here.
Practitioners should follow nine basic steps when preparing a survey. Part One of this series discussed establishing a goal and a sample, and choosing the method. The next three steps relate to what types of questions to ask and how to ask them.
To generate a valuable customer survey, practitioners should follow nine steps. The last article in this three-part series covers the final three steps: pre-testing the survey, administering the survey and analyzing the survey's results.
Six Sigma has tools that promote good decision making, which leads to performance improvements that reduce rework and drive benefits to the bottom line faster.
A successful sales strategy is to determine what things have the greatest leverage, and focus scarce resources on them. One way to accomplish this is to close the gap between what customers value and what you provide using the Six Sigma methodology.
Customers are requiring greater supply-chain integration. This trend must be considered when launching and/or deploying Six Sigma. Today's traditional effort in deploying Six Sigma projects should be restructured in order to balance addressing chain voice of the customer with solving internal, single-business process problems.
Most companies can benefit from surveying their employees for the primary purpose of gauging morale. Improvements in morale generally indicate a more satisfied work force, which often translates into a more effective and efficient team that plays a critical role in the company's quality and bottom lines.
The most perfectly designed process is only as good as the human being who uses it. Thats the idea behind Human Sigma, a new branch of Six Sigma that focuses on improving employee-customer encounters particularly within service organizations.
The link between a Six Sigma project and the ultimate customer is sometimes difficult because of the vagueness at the strategic level. It was interesting and relevant to see the results earlier this year from the annual Edelman Trust Barometer.
A lot of time can be saved in the planning stages of a survey or research project by simply answering three short questions. This article includes two real-world examples of how these three questions are essential to defining a voice of the customer (VOC) survey or research project.
Deploying Six Sigma in areas of high workforce mobility or dispersion, such as field sales and service, has proven challenging. This is ironic in that mobile workforces are closest to customers, and a Six Sigma strength is its focus on customers.
In Six Sigma, a successful business knows its customers by identifying the voice of the customer (VOC). And, the key to success in that process is gathering customer data and converting it into measurable critical-to-satisfaction elements.
The customers' view of the value your company provides is based on the quality of the combined package of product and service. So how do you - as a quality professional - provide management with a tool to benchmark the operational performance and monitor the customer satisfaction of your organization's ability to satisfy? The customer view score may be what you need.
To design a website focused on the science of usability instead of the art of aesthetics, a marketing team used DOE and conjoint analysis in its design process.
The Kano model, along with pair-wise questioning a method for testing the desirability of certain product or service parameters can aid in accurately collecting and applying VOC data.
User stories and measures provide a succinct way to uncover, articulate and track functionality and performance and they can be used for benchmarking and also linked to key aspects of quality function deployment (QFD) analysis.
The simple construct of a user story, with the right connection to measures, tests, prioritization and performance targets, can find its way to support many kinds of development and other value-focused work.
The idea of bio-marking, a technique used to follow individual molecules around in the laboratory, can also be applied to survey design. By creating one item, which captures the overall meaning or 'bottom line' of a survey, we can examine its variance statistically as it interacts with other items and set the stage for leverage and resource allocation via multiple regression.
Many companies are creating new growth and value by addressing their customers' hassles and issues with the organizations' existing product/service rather than by improving the original offerings. The idea is called "complementary innovation."
Companies which have advanced voice of the customer (VOC) methods are getting a deeper understanding of customer needs, by exploring and utilizing two ideas rapid prototyping, and tools for making design trade-off decisions.
Most companies today say they are using voice of the customer (VOC) data to make decisions. But what exactly does that mean?
A health plan organization analyzed a simple voice of the customer (VOC) survey to find the drivers and the relationships between loyalty and retention. Then it used the analysis to help target Six Sigma projects to improve subscriber retention.
When collecting voice of the customer (VOC), there are generally two types of data: reactive and proactive. Understanding these categories enables companies to understand what information VOC data can offer.
Successful organizations must know customer requirements. But customer preferences are often unbalanced, vague and unstable. Conjoint analysis makes it possible to derive individual customer preference profiles that are balanced and well-defined.
Determining the needs of external customers requires practitioners to translate the generic to the specific.
It is essential that an organization that has a strategy of value creation and market leadership listen to the voice of the customer. But since most organizations serve multiple sets of customers, the question is which customer voice to listen to.
Using the Y=f(x) tool to analyze your business will help define processes and key metrics supporting customer satisfaction.