Whether you work at, or with HON, you probably know of our love for acronyms: BDM, IDS, DSG, MTV, TLC, etc.—well maybe not the last two, but you get the idea. An acronym you may or may not have heard of is VOC: Voice of the Customer.
VOC is our process of listening to the “voice of the customer”, understanding what he/she said, and applying those uncovered needs, wants, desires, and gaps in the marketplace in our development of products, programs, and processes.
It is more than asking one end-user on his/her thoughts on our final product. We ask various stakeholders (designers, sales representatives, facility managers, etc.) numerous questions before we determine what product we will develop. We strive to first understand our customer and then be understood in the marketplace.
We use the VOC process in the development of our products, processes, programs, and recruiting efforts. VOC is more than a product development ideal. It is a core value of ours that can be applied in every function of the company. For example, we have a DSG team (Dealer Services Group) comprised of HON members. The purpose of the group is to gain feedback from our dealer sales representatives on ways HON can be easier to do business with. A great bi-product of this group is the new My Projects feature on the HON Ready Portal.
You now may be thinking “that sounds simple, ask customers what they want and then produce it”. You are correct, it is a simple idea! However, it takes a commitment to not only listen, but to understand and truly apply that feedback. Brilliant business ideas do not have to be convoluted, they can have a simple premise and still manage to shake up the market (sliced bread, anyone?)
Regardless of your industry, you can apply this process to make sure you provide an experience that is: what the marketplace needs, what the marketplace is lacking, and what your customers desire.
How can you use the Voice of the Customer philosophy in your business?