Listening to the Voice of the Customer
Insight into the way customers use your products and services is critical to successful innovation. But how can you be sure that you're getting the right information? Listening to the Voice of the Customer teaches you how to conduct your own VOC research to drive successful innovation. Applied Marketing Science's method rests upon a scientifically proven approach published by AMS co-founder, John Hauser, of the MIT Sloan School, in his article, “The Voice of the Customer.” Over the past twenty years, we have taught this acclaimed course to over 3,000 product development and marketing professionals at leading companies in diverse industries all over the world.
- Scope an effective study
- Staff a project appropriately
- Choose the right types of customers to interview
- Identify how many customers to interview
- Recruit customers for your study
- Ask customers the right questions in an unbiased way
- Conduct qualitative customer interviews to reveal meaningful insights
- Understand the difference between needs, opinions, solutions and target values
- Analyze customer interviews to identify customer needs
- Conduct a quantitative survey to prioritize customer needs
- Use VOC as a tool to guide business decisions relating to innovation in products, services, and customer experience
Students will participate in hands-on activities that reinforce the material covered in the course, including:
- Designing qualitative and quantitative VOC samples
- Writing a VOC qualitative discussion guide
- Conducting qualitative VOC interviews
- Analyzing VOC interviews to uncover needs
- Affinitizing customer needs into a hierarchy
- Designing a VOC quantitative survey
- Synthesizing and presenting VOC results
All of our instructors have extensive experience teaching VOC. They've also conducted numerous VOC studies themselves, using the same method that they teach in the course. They draw on this experience during the training, providing real-world examples that illustrate the points covered in the course.
Listening to the Voice of the Customer is appropriate for anyone responsible for innovation in products, services, and customer experience, including product developers, engineers, marketers, and managers.
Students will leave the course ready to conduct their own Voice of the Customer research to uncover actionable insights.
Your customers are ready to be heard, are you ready to listen?
Customer Interviewing and Ethnography Intensive
Applied Marketing Science's Customer Interviewing and Ethnography Intensive provides in-depth training on proven, best practices for conducting one-on-one in-depth customer interviews and observational research. The course includes extensive hands-on exercises and role-playing to put the learning into practice. Designed for those seeking to improve their qualitative interview and observation skills, this course builds upon many of the techniques introduced in Listening to the Voice of the Customer. However, the Listening to the Voice of the Customer course is not a pre-requisite. For those that have taken our Listening to the Voice of the Customer course, the interview and ethnography course is an excellent follow on.
Throughout the course, students will master how to:
- Structure and ask customers the right questions in an unbiased way
- Conduct interviews in-person
- Conduct interviews on the telephone
- Conduct in-person ethnographic observation
- Conduct mobile ethnography and use other digital tools
- Conduct interviews focused on a variety of topics:
- Identify customer needs for VOC
- Evaluate new products for concept and prototype testing
- Uncover customer emotions for the development of claims and messaging
- Assess the customer experience and journey for the development of journey maps
The course involves numerous interview and observational role-play activities that focus on the key principles of effective probing and uncovering useful insights. Students will leave the course ready to develop discussion and observation guides, as well as conduct customer interviews and ethnographies that uncover actionable insights.
Start learning best practices for conducting effective in-depth interviews in our webinar-on-demand, The Five Questions You Need to Be Asking Your Customers.
Journey Mapping and the Customer Experience
Applied Marketing Science's Journey Mapping and the Customer Experience course teaches students how to create effective and actionable customer journey maps and link these to the overall customer experience. Using the same principles of effective interviewing and analysis covered in Listening to the Voice of the Customer and our Customer Interviewing and Ethnography Intensive, Journey Mapping and the Customer Experience teaches students to:
- Understand a journey map in the context of the overall customer experience
- Conduct customer interviews to reveal the steps in the customer journey
- Assess customer expectations and satisfaction with each step in the journey
- Identify moments that matter in the journey
- Evaluate the customer experience on the journey on functional, experiential, and emotional levels
- Create an effective journey map that details all the steps of the customer journey and establishes what customers want at each step and why
- Understand traditional and digital customer experiences as part of the journey
- Create ongoing customer experience management research programs to evaluate the customer experience and continuously improve the journey
The course involves numerous role-play activities. Students will leave the course ready to interview customers about their journey. In addition, students will be equipped to create detailed and actionable maps of the customer journey that provide direction for customer experience professionals to act upon.
Learn how customer journey mapping is changing how companies innovate in our webinar-on-demand, Using Journey Maps to Transform the Customer Experience.
Our courses are offered as private, in-house training sessions and open-to-the-public sessions.
Private In-House Training
AMS offers courses in a private, in-house training format. In these situations, we conduct the training in-house at your company. This typically involves teaching groups of approximately 8 to 30 people at a time. Because everyone at a private training is from the same company, we can use real-world examples relevant to your business.
We have taught hundreds of private workshops to thousands of professionals around the world, including North and South America, Europe, Africa, China, and India. In our private training, your team can focus on the business issues, markets, and customer types that are important to you.
Periodically throughout the year, AMS offers public training workshops open to people from different organizations.
Receiving enthusiastic reviews from participants, our workshops provide a low-risk opportunity to learn new skills, brush up on best practices or just see what our training is all about prior to bringing us in-house to train your team. Our open-to-the-public workshops also offer great opportunities for networking with colleagues in roles similar to yours.
We typically offer our Listening to the Voice of the Customer course as an open-to-the-public session in the spring and fall each year. Other courses are offered as open-to-the-public sessions on a less regular schedule.
Learn from the best. Bring our experienced consultants to your company for customized market research and innovation training. Contact us today.
Coaching and Consulting Models
VOC Navigator™ helps companies learn Voice of the Customer (VOC) and drive it through their organization. Your team learns VOC methods in the classroom and then applies them on a real project with support from our experienced consultants. Combining training, coaching, project management, and analytical support, VOC Navigator™ follows an “action learning” approach that includes:
Through interactive on-site workshops, our experienced instructors teach you best-in-class VOC techniques.
Our teams work side-by-side as you design and execute your research, while we advise you and offer coaching based on decades of experience.
As your team does the high-visibility, critical work of formulating important questions, visiting customers, and interpreting results, our team works in the background on specialized tasks that your team doesn't have time for like qualitative analysis, survey programming, and data processing.
AMS guides you through structured concept generation. We combine new tools like online brainstorming and machine learning with proven techniques like our Express QFD® methodology, to help you conceive new products that customers want to buy.
Our team serves as an unbiased party, bringing your concepts to customers for evaluation and getting you objective insights to make important decisions and secure funding.
All along the way, we help manage your project, steering you clear of common mistakes and pitfalls and keeping your project on schedule.
We will design the approach that is right for your company. Engage us for the whole process or only a part of it, depending on your needs and resources. Our program is suitable for a wide variety of companies including B2B companies with complex value chains and demanding, highly technical customers.
VOC Navigator™ in action: An industrial manufacturer innovates with VOC Navigator™
Toolkits and Job Aids
Participants in our Listening to the Voice of the Customer course receive access to our exclusive, online Voice of the Customer Toolkit. The toolkit includes how-to guides and tools you can use to conduct your own VOC research, as well as additional reading and information on course topics. The resources and tools in the toolkit are provided to aid participants while integrating VOC into their own work.
The toolkit includes:
- Templates for creating customer sampling plans and discussion guides
- Reminders on best practices for conducting customer interviews
- Spreadsheets for project budgeting and ongoing project management
- Exclusive access to AMS-built transcript highlighting add-in, compatible with MS Word
- Links to additional content in the form of case studies and webinars
- A summary of helpful tips for conducting each stage of a VOC project
A preview of the online VOC Toolkit:
AMS course instructors are experienced insights consultants who have a passion for market research. Each trainer has over a decade of experience partnering with clients on customer insights engagements and brings this to each and every training engagement. AMS trainers earn high praise for their accessibility, knowledge and patience in coaching clients to build their own capabilities.
Kristyn Corrigan, Principal
In her over thirteen years of consulting experience, Kristyn has helped dozens of companies use customer insights to create more successful products, services and customer experiences. In addition to consulting work, Kristyn trains and coaches companies to create and implement their own in-house Insights and Voice of the Customer programs.
John Mitchell, President & Managing Principal
John has over 20 years’ experience in marketing strategy, market research, and innovation. He specializes in research to support new product development and customer experience design, and has led engagements in the U.S., Latin America, Europe and Asia. John has also trained and coached hundreds of AMS clients to develop their in-house insight capabilities.
Gerry Katz, Vice Chairman
Gerry is a recognized authority in the areas of new product development, design of new services, process innovation, and market research, with more than 40 years of consulting experience. At AMS, he has led more than 300 major client engagements employing the Voice of the Customer (VOC), Quality Function Deployment (QFD), and a large number of other strategic marketing science applications.
Carmel Dibner, Principal
Over the past decade, Carmel has helped dozens of companies uncover critical customer insights to improve products, services, and customer experiences. She has extensive experience managing traditional qualitative and quantitative research engagements in business and consumer markets. Additionally, Carmel leads the development and implementation of several innovative new research methodologies at AMS.
Patty Yanes, Associate Principal
Patty specializes in helping her clients to not only understand stated and latent customer needs through in-depth interviewing and ethnographic observation, but also with how to measure their criticality to innovation. Specifically, she is passionate about the use of choice-based research in gaining in-depth insights into the decisions customers make about products and services.
See what clients are saying about Applied Marketing Science in our Client Testimonials.
Additional dates may be added. Please check back for updates to the open-to-the-public training schedule.