I have been luckily exposed over the past years, to concepts such as voice of the customer, critical to quality, customer first and so on.
All strive to the need and importance of capture what the customer wants, in order to be able to deliver it to retain the customer and build loyalty over time.
Listening to the voice of the customer is not an easy task. Sometimes we need to traduce the voice of the customer into requirements/characteristics a product or a service must comply. Some other times, we may need to translate those characteristics into specifications for the product or service, that will dictate how the process should perform. And sometimes, finally we also need to define the settings of our process, to ensure the process always performs within specifications, that eventually will meet the characteristics and/or requirements that the customer wants. Being the settings all rules, procedures, instructions, tools that will prevent the process from shifting away from the expected performance.
This is more less the idea:
The hard part is to translate and capture the voice of the customer to succesfully bring it to your organization and deliver consistently what the customer expects.
There are different methods to capture this, such as surveys, face to face interviews, trends analysis and so on. This post is not about those techniques, but to outline the importance of correctly capture what the customer wants.
This came to me as a post, from Christmas. My 2 years old son, wanted a car for Christmas. So, as the tradition in Mexico requires, he and her sister wrote the letters to Santa and left them waiting at our Christmas tree (yes, Waste of Wating is present even in Christmas). So as we were getting close to December 24th, ran to get all the gifts and presents for the holidays, and got a small car, of about 1 feet long, pretty cool. So Imagine that my son would be very, very happy with it.
To my surprise, my wife took him to visit some friends, and for some reason they ended up going to a Walmart, where my son saw a big massive electrical and expensive car. Those where the kid can actually get in the car and "drive". Of course he said, "Thats the one I want, the one I asked Santa to bring me for Christmas".
Of course my wife told me his terrified, since she knew that we already got all the presents. Luckly there was couple of days left and was able to find the right one.
In the end everything ended up being just right. But this small - huuuge mistake could have brought the holiday down.
Imagine that instead of my son, that would have been a customer! The expectations and requirements definitely wouldn't´t have been accomplished.
Has something similar ever happened to you? If so, please share with me, I´d love to read your Christmas or business story.
And of course, Happy New Year!