My Boss Told Me to Get the Voice of the Customer


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Voice of the Customer may be one of the most misunderstood concepts in the product management process. Unfortunately any survey or conversation with a customer these days is labeled as “Voice of the Customer” and just viewed as a “check box” item.
We will relate different Voice of the Customer approaches with project portfolio classifications for product development

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My Boss Told Me to Get the Voice of the Customer

  1. 1. MY BOSS TOLD ME TO GET THE VOICE OF THE CUSTOMER, NOW WHAT? <br />Jose A. Briones, Ph.D.<br />Twitter: @Brioneja<br /><br />
  2. 2. Introduction<br />Product innovation has been described as the way out of today’s difficult business environment. <br />The rate of success of development projects, in particular disruptive innovation projects remains too low.<br />We believe that a reason for the low success rate is the erroneous application of analysis methods designed for incremental innovation to projects with high levels of uncertainty<br /> Twitter: @Brioneja<br />
  3. 3. Background<br />Voice of the Customer may be one of the most misunderstood concepts in the product management process. <br />Unfortunately any survey or conversation with a customer these days is labeled as “Voice of the Customer” and just viewed as a “check box” item. <br /> Twitter: @Brioneja<br />
  4. 4. In this Chapter of the “Beyond Stage Gate” series we will discuss how there are different types of Voice of the Customer surveys and how the misapplications of each type will pre-determine the results that are obtained.<br />We will relate different Voice of the Customer approaches with project portfolio classifications for product development.<br />Recommendations for how to apply them in different segments of the value chain will also be provided<br /> Twitter: @Brioneja<br />
  5. 5. Clayton M. Christensen<br /><ul><li>“we keep rediscovering that the root reason for established companies’ failure to innovate is that managers don’t have good tools to help them understand markets, build brands, find customers, select employees, organize teams, and develop strategy”
  6. 6. “There’s a better way for management teams to grow their companies. But they will need the courage to challenge some of the paradigms of analysis and the willingness to develop alternative methodologies”</li></ul> Twitter: @Brioneja<br />
  7. 7. Classical Stage-Gate Process<br />Source: Product Development Institute, Inc.<br />Project is managed in a linear fashion<br />“The Stage-Gate system assumes that the proposed strategy is the right strategy, the problem is that except in the case of incremental innovations, the right strategy cannot be completely known in advance” – Clayton M. Christensen<br /> Twitter: @Brioneja<br />
  8. 8. Twitter: @Brioneja<br />C. Christensen’s Disruptive Innovation Models<br />Twitter: @Brioneja <br />
  9. 9. Twitter: @Brioneja<br />Product/Project Minimum ROI Requirements<br />Disruptive<br />High<br />Level 3<br />Potential reward<br />Radical<br />Level 2<br />Incremental<br />Level 1<br />High<br />Risk<br />Low<br />Twitter: @Brioneja <br />
  10. 10. A New Innovation Project Categorization<br />High<br />Medium<br />Low<br />Technical Uncertainty<br />Low Medium High <br />Market Uncertainty<br />Source: Product Development Management Association<br />This categorization is based on the most critical variable for new innovation projects: Degree of uncertainty<br /> Twitter: @Brioneja<br />
  11. 11. The Spiro-Level™ 3-D Approach to Innovation<br />Resources<br />Launch<br />Quadrant IV<br />Quadrant I<br />Roadmap/Timeline<br />Idea <br />Generation<br />Level<br />3<br />Risk Analysis<br />VOC<br />2<br />Customer <br />Testing<br />1<br />Time<br />Time<br />Technology <br />Assessment<br />Supply Chain<br />Analysis<br />Business<br />Case<br />Value in Use<br />Analysis<br />Regulatory<br />IP Strategy<br />Prototype<br />Development<br />Quadrant II<br />Quadrant III<br />Resources<br /> Twitter: @Brioneja<br />
  12. 12. Twitter: @Brioneja<br />Relationship Between Spiro-Level and Project Type<br />
  13. 13. Overall Project Management<br /> Twitter: @Brioneja<br />
  14. 14. Twitter: @Brioneja<br />The Need for True Iterations<br /> For Disruptive innovations, 1 round of VOC’s is not enough to be the cornerstone of a project<br />Customers cannot say that they want what they do not know<br />Customers can only provide feedback on incremental modifications on what they do know<br />Iterations are needed where customers evaluate a prototype and a new cycle starts, complete with a new VOC, market and business analysis<br />
  15. 15. Twitter: @Brioneja<br />Source:<br />Hutch Carpenter<br />Twitter: @Brioneja <br />
  16. 16. <ul><li>Clayton Christensen: Customers do not buy products, they hire products to do a job.
  17. 17. Define the job your product is hired to do and the benefit your customer gets from it
  18. 18. Customers do not want to buy a drill, they want to make a hole</li></ul> Twitter: @Brioneja<br />
  19. 19. Twitter: @Brioneja<br />Voice of the Customer Types<br />
  20. 20. VOC Approach to Level<br />VOC Level 1: Broad and shallow<br />VOC Level 3: Narrow and deep<br /> Twitter: @Brioneja<br />
  21. 21. Unmet Needs<br />If a genie in a bottle granted you three wishes what would they be?<br />The drill customer that still does not know he/she needs to make a hole<br /> Twitter: @Brioneja<br />
  22. 22. KJ Analysis<br />Relies on user observation<br />Structures a large number of user statements and provides relations between the statements<br /> Twitter: @Brioneja<br />
  23. 23. Job To Be Done<br />The "job-to-be-done" approach plumbs the deeper motivations surrounding use of your product. Understand that, and you can design products that attach themselves more closely to satisfying customers' needs. Hutch Carpenter<br />How deep is the hole you need? How fast do you need to make it?<br /> Twitter: @Brioneja<br />
  24. 24. Product Features<br />What color do you need the drill to be?<br />Electricity or battery?<br /> Twitter: @Brioneja<br />
  25. 25. VOC Dependency On Value Chain <br /> Twitter: @Brioneja<br />As innovation moves from incremental to disruptive, VOC should be obtained further down the value chain, away from current customers<br />
  26. 26. IDEO KJ Analysis of Eclipse Aviation Prototype<br />To design a brand new aircraft the size of an SUV, a design team from Ideo asked pilots to test a a mock-up with Post-it Note controls<br />Source: Business Week<br /> Twitter: @Brioneja<br />
  27. 27. Eclipse Aviation Prototype<br />Early research identified multiple problems with the existing design. From a usability perspective<br /> Twitter: @Brioneja<br />
  28. 28. The team built a "mockpit" – a prototype cockpit with foam core controllers and Post-it Note instruments that they invited Eclipse test pilot Bill Bubb to "fly"<br /> Twitter: @Brioneja<br />
  29. 29. As the designers gained flying knowledge, they would move Post-its — representing instruments — around on a printout of the cockpit panel, testing different positions and groupings to find the optimal layout<br /> Twitter: @Brioneja<br />
  30. 30. Eclipse Aviation's current design for the 500's instrument panel reflects many of Ideo's recommendations<br /> Twitter: @Brioneja<br />
  31. 31. VOC Tips<br />Go to listen – open-ended questions – don’t presuppose (which is so hard) and don’t send just send the sales guy in!!!!! – <br />You want to learn about what they see as their products/services, their distribution channels, their customers, their end-users (may be different from their customers), their customers’ decision makers, their geographies, the things that influence their biz which they may or may not be able to control (e.g., economy, weather, currency rates), how they help their customers save $ (profit), make $ (revenue), feel good<br />Deborah Mills-Scofield<br /> Twitter: @Brioneja<br />
  32. 32. VOC Tips<br />Do ‘day in the life’ – follow them around as they do their jobs – if it’s B2C, watch then shop, watch how kids pile into a minivan, SUV, what they eat, do with the trash etc. – how a plumber does their thing etc. – if B2B, how they order your stuff, get help with your stuff, get rid of your stuff, etc. – just follow them around and shut up at first and then ask questions about HOW, not how you’d do it<br />Deborah Mills-Scofield<br /> Twitter: @Brioneja<br />
  33. 33. Summary<br /> Twitter: @Brioneja<br />There are different types of VOC surveys and approaches<br />The type of VOC approach used will predetermine the type of answers and information you get<br />It is important to match the right VOC approach to the right type of development project<br />
  34. 34. Twitter: @Brioneja<br />ProductCamp DFW<br />Dallas-Fort Worth, TX Product Management Community<br />May 21, 2010 –University of Texas - Dallas<br />Twitter: @Brioneja <br />
  35. 35. Contact Information<br /><br /><br />Twitter: @Brioneja<br /> Twitter: @Brioneja<br />
  36. 36. References<br />The Entrepreneurial Mindset, 2000,<br />Innovation Killers, 2008,<br />The Eclipse: Safety By Design<br />IDEO’s Shopping Cart Video<br /> Twitter: @Brioneja<br />
  37. 37. Twitter: @Brioneja<br />Attribute Map Questions<br />Non Negotiable:<br />Which three non negotiable attributes are the most expensive to deliver? Can we do something creative to reduce their cost, particularly in ways that competitors can’t imitate?<br />Differentiator<br />Why does this segment buy from us and not the competition?<br />What do we offer that customers not only like but are prepared to pay a premium for?<br />What do distributors and customers say we do better than anyone else?<br />How close is the competition to matching us on these features?<br />Exciter<br />If a genie in a bottle granted us one wish that would allow us to redesign our product or service and add or enhance an attribute in such a way that we could capture huge market share, what would we wish for? Is this within the realm of the possible for us?<br />
  38. 38. Tolerable<br />What features would our most important customer segments list if we asked them to complete the following sentence: “If only you could eliminate ________ from your offering, I would buy a lot more often”<br />Can we get rid of a tolerable in ways that competitors can’t? How?<br />Are we experiencing increasing complaints on this tolerable?<br />To what extent are target customers beginning to compare us unfavorably with the competition?<br />Dissatisfier<br />On what subject do people who interact with customers hear the most rumbling?<br />Is it something all providers do, or something only we do?<br />To what extent is this attribute a key reason for recent customer defections?<br />To what extent is this attribute increasingly cited as a key reason for product returns?<br />To what extent are our competitors advertising their superiority with respect to this attribute?<br /> Twitter: @Brioneja<br />
  39. 39. Enrager<br />Are people who are in contact with customers observing reactions that go beyond minor irritation to enraging?<br />Have customer written letters of complaint or otherwise been proactively critical of this feature?<br />So What?<br />Look at every expensive attribute and ask what its elimination or reduction would do to sales<br />Why do we offer those attributes?<br />Are there any cost/complexity-reduction opportunities associated with getting rid of them?<br />What are the three most expensive “nice to haves” we offer – that is, features that we believe to be necessary but that customers appear unwilling to pay for?<br />Is there a competitive reason to keep these features, or could we eliminate them?<br /> Twitter: @Brioneja<br />
  40. 40. Twitter: @Brioneja<br />Price Sensitivity Analysis<br />At what price would it be so cheap that quality is doubted?<br />At what price would you consider this product to be a bargain – a great value for the money?<br />At what price would it start getting expensive, but still worth considering?<br />At what price is it so expensive that it would not be considered at all?<br />