What does VOC stand for?

VOC stands for Voice of Customer or Voice of Client which is mentioned in the define phase of the Six Sigma DMAIC process. It is essentially the customer’s overall opinion of the product including their expectations, preferences, and comments that assists companies in creating a product that meets or exceeds the customer’s expectations.

The first thing that must happen for creating a customer approved product is the collection of data from customers to receive insight on what the they want and what they require for a product. The definition of a want is something that is an added bonus from the product’s intended use. Take for example a car that has the added bonus of a backup camera rather than having to physically look behind the vehicle when put into reverse. A requirement on the other hand is something like basic safety features in a car (airbags and emergency breaks). Having the requirements is the base of producing a good product, the addition of wants and needs are there to provide purchase incentive to the customer.

Gathering information from the customer is either a proactive approach or a reactive approach. The proactive approach requires the company to talk to the customer before the product is in the final stages of manufacture. By performing tests and receiving feedback there is the potential for less money wasted on a finished product that customers may not want to use of purchase. On the other hand, there is the reactive approach that can be made by the company in which they ask buyers to answer survey questions on a finished product that was already purchased. This is riskier as it is based upon assumptions regarding the customer’s needs and requirements but can also be a good tool for making improvements on the product for future renditions.

While this is not a complete “how to” document on VOC, it does contain the basic ideas needed to start! As a strategy related to Six Sigma, it is a useful tool regarding workplace organization.


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