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Understanding the voice of the customer

Found, Pauline and Harrison, Richard 2012. Understanding the voice of the customer. International Journal of Lean Six Sigma 3 (3) , pp. 251-267. 10.1108/20401461211282736

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Abstract

Purpose – Understanding customer value is described as the first Lean principle but there is scant literature on how customer value is defined. The purpose of this paper is to present a model for understanding the product and service elements that a customer values and expects from the supply relationship. Design/methodology/approach – The research approach taken in this work has been based around model development from a review of the existing literature and synthesis of a range of industry cases. The industry cases have been studied using a range of research approaches, including direct observation, semi-structured interviews and action-based research. Findings – The key to sustaining a customer-supplier relationship is managing customer expectations so that the product, or service, that is being supplied at least meets, or exceeds, their basic requirements. The problem is that if it is not fully understand what the customer values and expects, then we cannot hope to satisfy them adequately. Practical implications – A framework for understanding the voice of the customer (VoC) has practical implications for industry striving to compete in the current economic climate. In addition, the paper has implications for academics trying to understand sustainability of lean supply chain programs and delivering research-led teaching in logistics and operations management. Originality/value – The originality and value of this paper is in its synthesis of existing best practice from industry, consultancy and academia into a coherent framework for understanding the VoC in a Lean Six Sigma implementation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Uncontrolled Keywords: Consumer behaviour, Customer expectations, Customer satisfaction, Lean production, Lean supply chain management, Supply chain management, Voice of the customer
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 2040-4166
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2019 16:55
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/40126

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