Voice of the Customer Data Collection
Tips & Training
|Tip: For every type of data collected, be sure
to segment your data in all of the ways defined within your Customer
Segmentation Worksheet and the segmentation decisions you made using your Tree
(Additional templates that come with your Six Sigma Tools bundle)
Sources of Customer Data
Existing Customer Information
Examples: Gross sales for this product or service, existing sales analysis data, returns or refunds, order cancellations, won/lost reporting, source of leads reporting...
Advantages: Cheap and fast
Disadvantages: Might not be segmented in all desired ways. Inconsistent controls, usage, or data input patterns may skew the data.
Customer Listening Posts
Definition of Listening Post = any point of customer contact.
Examples: Complaint feedback avenues (e.g. website, support requests…).
Supply Chain Partners.
Any staff that directly interfaces with customers (e.g. sales reps, customer service reps, field service, billing collections…)
Advantages: Cheap. Easy (your people are already talking with the customer). There are many side benefits to establishing a culture where everyone that interfaces with a customer is trained and mentored to honestly listen. It's even more amazing what happens when performance evaluation is in some way tied to measurable demonstration that the employee is listening AND providing quality feedback through your company's well-designed feedback channels.
Disadvantages: Inconsistent controls, usage, or data input patterns may skew the data.
Examples: Industry publications, published studies, market share analysis, industry experts…
Advantages: Fast. Sometimes cheap. Provides perspective from outside your own organizational boundaries.
Disadvantages: Might not answer all of your questions. Might not be segmented in all desired ways.
Tip: It is important to understand the details of the research methods, population profiles, and sample sizes used by the independent researcher.
Examples: Process observation, telephone interviews, face-to-face interviews, focus groups, surveys, questionnaires, e-survey, point of use observation...
Advantages: Very flexible to obtain the exact information desired.
Disadvantages: Slow. Expensive. Requires substantial expertise to properly design the questions, operational definitions, and/or data collection techniques, and to adequately train and supervise the people collecting the data.
Excel template to avoid the single most costly mistake in a Six Sigma