Unshackling the Voice of the Customer

Voice of the Customer (VOC) programs have been hampered and shackled for too long. A major improvement caused by taking a Six Sigma style approach to sales and marketing comes by causing people to focus on and understand what kind of assistance their customers and prospects want and need as they pursue their own goals (aka the “Customer’s Journey”).

I proved this in Chapter 4 of “Sales and Marketing the Six Sigma Way,” which was a detailed description of a Six Sigma project for a website that sold information. We learned what customers needed to know as they went about making their decision by doing VOC interviews and a well-thought out survey. Then, we answered the questions that were on their minds via the pages on the website, and like magic, the conversion rate went up 94%.

In my humble opinion, VOC should be one of the primary roles of the marketing department.  I’ll be advocating this position when I speak at the upcoming PDMA annual conference:

October 1-2, 2007    “Voice of the Customer” Discussion Panel at the PDMA International Conference in Orlando, FL

I’ll be participating in a “Voice of the Customer” discussion panel around the topic “Voice of the Customer: Helping or hurting creativity?” My point of view will be that VOC, when it is focused on product development, as it traditionally is, misses the boat. VOC should be a central role of the marketing department, with the goal of uncovering value propositions and what people need to be able to research their problems and make buying decisions more easily, not just around product requirements.

Michael Webb

June 12, 2007

Michael Webb

Michael Webb founded Sales Performance Consultants to create a data-driven alternative to the slogans and shallow impact offered by typical sales training, sales consulting, and CRM companies. Michael helped organize and delivered the keynote speeches for the first conferences ever held on applying Six Sigma to marketing and sales. Connect with me on LinkedIn.

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