IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The Voice of the Customer

  • Abbie Griffin

    (University of Chicago)

  • John R. Hauser

    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

In recent years, many U.S. and Japanese firms have adopted Quality Function Deployment (QFD). QFD is a total-quality-management process in which the “voice of the customer” is deployed throughout the R&D, engineering, and manufacturing stages of product development. For example, in the first “house” of QFD, customer needs are linked to design attributes thus encouraging the joint consideration of marketing issues and engineering issues. This paper focuses on the “Voice-of-the-Customer” component of QFD, that is, the tasks of identifying customer needs, structuring customer needs, and providing priorities for customer needs. In the stage, we address the questions of (1) how many customers need be interviewed, (2) how many analysts need to read the transcripts, (3) how many customer needs do we miss, and (4) are focus groups or one-on-one interviews superior? In the stage the customer needs are arrayed into a hierarchy of primary, secondary, and tertiary needs. We compare group consensus (affinity) charts, a technique which accounts for most industry applications, with a technique based on customer-sort data. In the stage which we present new data in which product concepts were created by product-development experts such that each concept stressed the fulfillment of one primary customer need. Customer interest in and preference for these concepts are compared to measured and estimated importances. We also address the question of whether frequency of mention can be used as a surrogate for importance. Finally, we examine the stated goal of QFD, . Our data demonstrate a self-selection bias in satisfaction measures that are used commonly for QFD and for corporate incentive programs. We close with a brief application to illustrate how a product-development team used the voice of the customer to create a successful new product.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Marketing Science.

Volume (Year): 12 (1993)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1-27

in new window

Handle: RePEc:inm:ormksc:v:12:y:1993:i:1:p:1-27
Contact details of provider: Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA
Phone: +1-443-757-3500
Fax: 443-757-3515
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. George P. Huber, 1974. "Multi-Attribute Utility Models: A Review of Field and Field-Like Studies," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 20(10), pages 1393-1402, June.
  2. Hauser, John R. & Urban, Glen L., 1975. "A normative methodology for modeling consumer response to innovation," Working papers 785-75., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  3. Green, Paul E & Srinivasan, V, 1978. " Conjoint Analysis in Consumer Research: Issues and Outlook," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(2), pages 103-23, Se.
  4. Griffin, Abbie. & Hauser, John R., 1991. "The marketing and R & D interface," Working papers #48-91. Working paper (Sl, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  5. John R. Hauser, 1977. "Testing the Accuracy," Discussion Papers 286, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormksc:v:12:y:1993:i:1:p:1-27. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.