- Putting the "I" into Listening to the Voice of the Customer
- Typical Approach to Listening to the Voice of the Customer
- World-Class Approach to Listening to the Voice of the Customer
- Five Voice-of-the-Customer Best Team Practices
- Impediments to the Voice-of-the-Customer Challenge
- Strategies to Overcome the Voice-of-the-Customer Challenge
- Voice-of-the-Customer Plan of Action
Typical Approach to Listening to the Voice of the Customer
Most product designers and service providers are order-takers. They function as waiters or waitresses in a restaurant: They wait for a customer to tell them what he or she wants to eat. Things get more complicated when the customer wants a type of cuisine, say Italian or French, rather than a specific appetizer or entrée to be ordered by name.
In many parts of the world, restaurants post a No Substitutions notice. If a diner is allergic to an ingredient in a specific dish, he or she must try to find a different selection that doesn’t contain the ingredient. The No Substitutions philosophy seems to be, “We do what we do. If you’re not satisfied, go somewhere else”—and many people do. Of course, there is another possible reason for the No Substitutions policy. It could be that all dishes are prepared offsite or in advance. All the restaurant staff does is reheat, as needed, and serve; it cannot remove an ingredient already blended in.
Both of these possibilities can apply to teams because many team members function only as order-takers. Management assigns work, dictating the type of product or service a team is to produce. Teams don’t know who the customers are, and if they did, they quite possibly wouldn’t listen very carefully.