Definition - What does Voice of the Customer (VOC) mean?
Voice of the customer (VOC) refers to an in-depth process used in businesses and the information technology industry for capturing a customer’s preferences, expectations and aversions. This is a market research technique that can produce a detailed view of what customers want or need organized in a hierarchical structure that is prioritized according to importance and satisfaction with current alternatives.
Studies on the VOC are generally conducted during or before the start of a new product, process or design of service initiatives in order to understand the wants and needs of the customer in relation to that of the organization’s vision for the new initiative. The input is often used as key inputs for the new product’s definition, detailed specifications and quality function deployment. The studies usually consist of both quantitative and qualitative research approaches.
There are many ways to gather information such as conducting focus groups, making contextual inquiries and performing individual interviews, to name a few. However, all of these methods involve a series of in-depth interviews that are focused on getting the customer’s feedback on experiences regarding current products and services or alternatives within the same category. These statements are then extracted of meaning and organized into a suitable hierarchy that can be used by the organization.