Cold Beer

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I have to admit this is one of my favorite subjects – beer! Recently I toured the Ellis Island Casino and Brewery in Las Vegas. Our guide stated that their customers loved “cold” beer. Like most of you I immediately thought of Six Sigma critical-to-quality (CTQ) trees. (Yes, this stuff can be a curse.) As […]

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How to Avoid The Evils Within Customer Satisfaction Surveys

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When the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company won the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for the second time in 1999, companies across many industries began trying to achieve the same level of outstanding customer satisfaction. This was a good thing, of course, as CEOs and executives began incorporating customer satisfaction into their company goals while also communicating […]

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Creating Customer Delight – A Case Study in Diagnostic Clinics: Part 3 of 3

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This three-part case study focuses on improving customer satisfaction at two of the company’s diagnostic clinics – Centers A and B. In Part One, the company worked at Center A to reduce patient turnaround time, a defining component of patient satisfaction. In Part Two, the chain’s improvement story focuses on increasing patient delight at Center […]

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Creating Customer Delight – A Case Study in Diagnostic Clinics: Part 2 of 3

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This three-part case study focuses on two of the company’s diagnostic clinics – Centers A and B. In Part One, the company worked at Center A to reduce patient turnaround time, a defining component of patient satisfaction. Part Two of the chain’s improvement story focuses on increasing patient delight at Center B. Part Three revisits […]

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Creating Customer Delight – A Case Study in Diagnostic Clinics: Part 1 of 3

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The following is Part One of a three-part article. Click here to read Part Two. Click here to read Part Three. A chain of medical diagnostic clinics was developed from the ground up. After two years of hectic expansion marked by acquisitions and setting up greenfield clinics across a number of cities, it became clear […]

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VOC Advances: New Paths to Understanding Customers

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A Series of Articles on VOC Advances This article is one of a series on advances in obtaining and applying voice of the customer (VOC) information. The other articles in the series are VOC Advances: Complementary Innovation for Growth and VOC Advances: Helping Make Better Design Decisions. The series was written by Anthony E. Curtis […]

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VOC: Comparing Reactive Data and Proactive Data

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Collecting data – be it voice of the customer or otherwise – requires a plan. Details of the plan should include what data to collect, how to get the information, where the information will come from and so on. Before any of these details are defined, however, the first step is to identify what a […]

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Question marks on small multi-colored pieces of paper

Voice of the Customer: Have You Asked Enough Questions?

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To drive improvement through Lean Six Sigma and other continuous improvement projects, it is imperative for practitioners to determine first what is important to the customers who are affected by the process. Customers can take on a variety of different views. Listed below are examples of typical customers identified in a SIPOC diagram (suppliers, inputs, […]

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Knowing Who Your Customers Are

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When a company has multiple types of customers, a key factor in generating accurate voice-of-the-customer (VOC) data is the development of a unified VOC collection process. In my article, “Nice Doing Business With You” (iSixSigma Magazine, January/February 2011), I discussed various methods to ensure that all types of customer information is gathered from various departments […]

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Scenario Planning

Get the Bugs Out: VOC Analysis and Scenario Planning

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Through scenario planning, organizations can delight their customers by preparing for problems before they happen and testing solutions on employees first.

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Global Study Analyzes Success Factors of Business Process Excellence Initiatives

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A study of 835 individuals, representing a variety of companies of all sizes and industries from across the globe, has been released, showing trends and success factors in business process excellence (BPE) initiatives worldwide.

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Call Center Quality: Satisfaction Over Quantity

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Until 2005, this was the case at NCCI Holdings Inc., a workers compensation insurance carrier, based in Boca Raton, Fla., USA. The call center at NCCI is a business-to-business operation that manages 400,000 phone calls and 70,000 email interactions every year with insurance carriers and insurance agents. To help improve call center quality, NCCI took […]

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Efficiency

Use the 5V Approach to Increase Plant Efficiency

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To increase plant efficiency, organizations need to start broad and carry on to a narrower perspective. Do this by focusing on the 5Vs: voice of the customer, value addition, value stream mapping, variation zero and visual management.

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Use Pair-wise Questioning to Collect More Useful VOC Data

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Imagine receiving the following message from your organization’s travel assistant: “You will really like your next business trip! I have booked you into a hotel right in the city center. It is a bit far from the factory and not really cheap, but after work you can do lots of things!” But what if you […]

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Creating A Training Paradigm Shift

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While training traditional software services personnel it becomes imperative to give an experiential feeling in the classroom. Using case studies and sharing success stories will help develop conviction in practitioners.

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iSixSigma Publisher Katie Barry Introduces Redesigned Website

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In a note to readers, Publisher Katie Barry introduces the redesigned iSixSigma.com and encourages users to send feedback on their experiences with the new site.

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Three Simple Questions: How to Focus Your VOC Research

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A lot of time can be saved in the planning stages of a survey research project by simply answering three short questions. By the time people from organizations have contacted me about a Six Sigma voice of the customer (VOC) study or research project, they have usually spent at least a fair amount of time […]

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How to Calculate Process Sigma

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How to Calculate Process Sigma Consider a power company for illustration purposes: A power company measures their performance in uptime of available power to their grid. Here is the five-step process to calculate your process sigma. Step 1: Define Your Opportunities An opportunity is the lowest defect noticeable by a customer. This definition, of course, is […]

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Developing E-Learning the Six Sigma Way

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Your e-learning development program may well be in trouble, and applying the Six Sigma methodology might be the solution. In this real-world Six Sigma – play-by-play – case study about e-learning development, you will learn from the Black Belt what tools were used throughout the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) phases of a project […]

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Six Sigma Trends: Upgrade for Supply Chains and Solution Providers

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This is my second article from my series reflecting research on strategies and trends in deploying Six Sigma. Our research is performed not in an academic lab but with direct application in companies through advanced team-training concepts and relevant project coaching. Although subjects vary, the structure of my articles will remain similar starting with What […]

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Implementing a Customer Satisfaction Metric

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Organizations evaluate themselves by measuring customer satisfaction with their products or services. As organizations evolve, the measurement of customer satisfaction across the entire organization becomes imperative. The first step is for an organization to implement a metric for tracking customer satisfaction. To develop a metric, an organization should explore these questions: Who are its customers? […]

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Service is the Key to Success

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Why do people buy shoes from Nordstrom, when they can get a similar pair of similar quality for less money at other major department or clothing stores? Most stores carry a similarly large selection of shoes – large enough for most people to browse and make a selection. All stores have sales people, mirrors to […]

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Next Steps

Defining CTQ Outputs: A Key Step in the Design Process

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After gathering voice of the customer data, the next step is to translate user demands into design quality. A quality function deployment (QFD), also known as the house of quality, can help define those critical-to-quality outputs (CTQs).

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Voice of the Business, Customer, Process and Employee

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Business could not have been better. Customers were reacting positively to the company’s new and enhanced service portfolio, the company entered the market without much competition and customer satisfaction was at an all-time high. Profitability continued to rise, and the company’s efficiency rate was impressive. But then things changed. New account numbers abruptly fell. Some […]

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