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Leveraging Voice of the Customer 20/20 Manufacturing Matters! Bryan Lilly, Ph.D. Market Research Insights, LLC University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Marketing Professor 1 of 28 Goals / Agenda Improved VOC efforts with respect to: - Decisions


  1. Leveraging Voice of the Customer 20/20 Manufacturing Matters! Bryan Lilly, Ph.D. Market Research Insights, LLC University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Marketing Professor 1 of 28

  2. Goals / Agenda Improved VOC efforts with respect to: - Decisions about when to pursue - Ability to navigate/leverage ➢ Background ➢ 1. Main benefits ➢ 2. Main drawbacks ➢ 3. Miscellaneous nuggets and Logistics (Q&A throughout) 2 of 28

  3. Background-1 What are Voice of Customer (VOC) efforts? - Information from customers about their desires, experiences (positive and negative) and expectations - Process; hopefully unbiased - Not just ‘complaint channel’ or comments to sales force 3 of 28

  4. Background-2 Idea sources (read, heard, done) Performance tactics depend on control level Value varies; not “one size fits all” 4 of 28

  5. Part 1 Main Benefits 5 of 28

  6. Main benefits: 3 examples then list 1. Fabricating company; also service and environmental control systems, GC capabilities ➢ Project work; get initial specs and build ➢ Examples: warehouse storage areas, refrigeration and ventilation projects ➢ Build mainly on-site: customize as they go is a big plus ➢ Key Problem: on-site downtime 6 of 28

  7. Main benefits: 3 examples then list 1. Fabricating company: Voice of Customer (VOC) effort - Dedicated more space at their location for off-site design/build Inserted elements of customer site. Started with hospital - Had customer visit and react to iterations Results - Improved designs (vs. higher costs of design then change) - Less down-time on site; final install was much faster - Customers gained knowledge of capabilities, “I didn’t know that was possible,” or “I didn’t know you could do that.” - Better relationships with customers; referrals 7 of 28

  8. Main benefits: 3 examples then list 2. Firetruck manufacturer ➢ Good reputation; high quality ➢ Innovation issue ➢ Complex purchase; input sometimes missing from “users” 8 of 28

  9. Main benefits: 3 examples then list 2. Firetruck manufacturer Voice of Customer (VOC) effort - Took designers and other employees to customer locations - Ride alongs over two months; happy-talking user group - TONS of photos and Post-It notes Results - Over 80 ideas; over 20 implemented at time of presentation - Reduced new- feature “guessing risk” - Improved position in market (innovated and know-users) - Learned TRAINING was a key purchase driver (affirmed quality viewed as high, but that was also true among competitors) 9 of 28

  10. Main benefits: 3 examples then list 3. Equipment servicing ➢ Many competitors; almost ‘commodity’ ➢ Family culture ➢ Steady sales but wondering, “What are we missing?” 10 of 28

  11. Main benefits: 3 examples then list 3. Equipment servicing Voice of Customer (VOC) effort - Interviews with customers and prospects - “Carl the polite skeptic” - Key prospect interviewee; unknown-ownership issue Results - Changed conversation during prospect discussions - Showed more empathy to buyer ‘changeover’ concerns - Unsure about impact 11 of 28

  12. Main benefits: list 1. Improved products/services (drives value for customer) 2. Fix small problems before they become big 3. Stronger relationships and referrals 4. Challenge beliefs about relative strengths/weaknesses 5. Improved discussions with prospects 6. _______________________ 7. _______________________ 8. _______________________ 12 of 28

  13. Part 2 Drawbacks 13 of 28

  14. Main drawbacks: examples and list Pull up “potty - training” diapers in UK Healthy food; hits and misses by McDonalds “The thing is, Starbucks got this half right. They correctly realized customers wanted a cold, sweet, bottled coffee beverage. They just wanted it to resemble a milk shake, not a soda .” Starbucks and Pepsi Mazagran http://trustedinsight.trendsource.com/trusted-insight-trends/the- (eventually Frappuccino) 10-biggest-market-research-fails-of-all-time (abridged) 14 of 28

  15. Main drawbacks: examples and list Famous example: The “Pepsi Challenge” and New Coke, where the Coke’s VOC method missed two critical issues: 1) Tradition-value-driver 2) CL-sip-test 15 of 28

  16. Main drawbacks: examples and list Home/auto insurance ➢ Subsidiary of large national company ➢ What makes consumers happy/unhappy with us? ➢ Online and phone surveys ➢ Report meeting ➢ “But don’t people buy because of what their agent recommends, and did you get data from agents?” 16 of 28

  17. Main drawbacks: examples and list Home improvement ➢ Regional home improvement company ➢ Why are sales low in this region? ➢ Online and phone surveys ➢ Final report ➢ “We tried those recommendations before; they didn’t work” 17 of 28

  18. Main drawbacks: list 1. Misleading or misinterpreted input. Customers may not know what would make them happy (noted by Henry Ford). 2. Dollar cost 3. Time 4. Uncertain payoff 5. Channel sensitivity (that’s my customer) 6. _______________________ 7. _______________________ 8. _______________________ 18 of 28

  19. Part 3 Misc. Nuggets & Logistics 19 of 28

  20. Miscellaneous Nuggets 1. Customer reactions to being surveyed 2. Benchmark for later use (e.g., “Did this initiative work?”) 3. External recognition (e.g., Baldrige or industry based) 4. Budget (project vs. process, who “owns, etc.) 5. Can tip competition (can occur during test-market efforts) 6. _______________________ 7. _______________________ 8. _______________________ 20 of 28

  21. Logistics a. Gutter guards b. KISS c. Priorities d. Reporting e. Specialist pros/cons f. Timelines g. Phases with “optional” parts h. “Our responsibilities” 21 of 28

  22. Logistics Gutter guards: What parts of this experience irritate me, and can we design the VOC effort to make these parts better? KISS : Simplicity is good, but don’t mistake simplicity for over-simplifying . Analogy to annual physical (I’ll just check your pulse). 22 of 28

  23. Logistics Priorities: - What problem are we trying to solve, and why? - To make-a-decision/act, what do we want to know? Reporting: How will people find it most useful to review results; now and in the future? Ask early about these. - Word document vs PPT (level of details) - Descriptive results versus recommendations - Information: tables versus graphics - Data files (raw and/or tabled) 23 of 28

  24. Logistics Specialist pros/cons: - Industry expertise - Research methods expertise - Problem-focus expertise - Management/implementation expertise (Pick desired elements; finding all together is rare.) Timelines: what causes delays - Level of involvement desired by varied constituents - Other priorities surface - Data acquisition (scheduling for focus groups, etc.) 24 of 28

  25. Logistics Phases with optional parts: - Sometimes it’s good to say, “we learned enough; let’s stop here” - Specify deliverables/phase Our responsibilities: examples: - Point of contact - Meeting coordination - Provide input - Interviewees (contacts and secured permissions) 25 of 28

  26. Logistics: other suggestions? 1. _______________________ 2. _______________________ 3. _______________________ 4. _______________________ 5. _______________________ 26 of 28

  27. Recommendation for Customer Focused Companies: Periodically gather unbiased information to assess: - What customers think of you and your industry (desires, experiences and expectations). - How you can improve experiences so customers are more likely to stay with you and recommend you to others. Where, when and how: - Where: multiple touchpoints - When: - Coinciding with key experiences - Sometimes planned/periodic (e.g., quarterly or other) - How: Can be conversations or formal surveying. Some technical expertise can be helpful, but none of this is voodoo-magic. 27 of 28

  28. Ok, what did I miss, given the goals? Questions? 28 of 28

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