Matching VOC Gathering Method to Objective

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    Hi there,
    I’m looking to find any information that will help me determine ways to match VOC gathering methods (direct: surveys, interviews etc, indirect: internal reporting, etc) to the objective (what do i need to gather, why do i need to gather it).  Does anyone have any info on this?



    Your question implies that before you gather VOC you already know what and why you need to gather it. I would then argue that you risk approaching the process with pre-conceptions and/or bias and may miss some vital VOC. I would say your objective questions would apply more to data collection after having gathered VOC and determined what is critical to quality for the customer – what data and why in your data collection plan.
    ‘What’ and ‘Why’ do I need to gather VOC should remain the same, WHAT is critical to the quality of the process according to your customer and WHY you need to gather VOC is to ensure you focus on improvements that satisfy your customers needs. Therefore I would venture that all VOC gathering methods should satisfy these objectives.
    VOC gathering methods would fall into two categories, existing customer data and new customer data. For existing sources of data you might look at completed Surveys, Complaints Info, Benchmarking, existing Control Plan information, etc. In order to select the best VOC gathering method look at the advantages/disadvantages for each method. These can be found in many Further Education Management texts (under Research Methods?). For example Surveys tend to have a lower cost but can provide incomplete results (skipped questions/low response rate). Interviews have the advantage of tackling complex issues and good when customers won’t respond willingly or accurately, but has a long cycle time to complete. Therefore I would rank the different methods you identify against say Time, Budget, Resources, Customer Contact Info (phone nos., email, addresses?) and any other appropriate criteria. This should enable you to pick the most suitable VOC gathering method.



    Please review Voice of Customer Analysis:A Modern System of Front-End QFD Tools, With Case Studies by Glenn Mazur published in 1997 AQC. I think you should be able to obtain it on the AQC Web site.
    Can someone comment on QFD software with multiple dimensions for analysis of this data. I am not sure its OK to post the name of the prefeered software and comments on its usefulness.
    Thanks to Glenn for making this contribution to the QKB


    Dave Hallowell

    Building on some good tips that have already been provided  – I’d underline that you aren’t gathering data ‘for the QFD’ but in order to learn what you need to about customer stated and latent needs and their relationship to measurable ‘responses’ that make sense. 
    One way that might help answer your question is to highlght what you’ll do before any QFD. 
     – Distilling raw data (which could come from interviews,  help systems, surveys, etc) into requirements language (and I like use case language especially).
     – Prioritizing and characterizing the requirements – using various methods (Kano classification, Analyical Hierarchy Process, etc)
    – Identifying appropriate measures (and their directions of improvement).
    You’ll do all the above in order to learn what you need to in order to capture the value and reduce the risk connected with requirements.  After that — QFD can help you ‘deploy’ the requirements in any number of ways.  
    I have just submitted an article on QFD and the fit with Software Development  – that will be published on this site in about 2 weeks.  I guess that’s a future link that I hope might help with some detail on what you do with the data in QFD planning and interpretation.

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