Is your company customer-centric? Have you unearthed customer needs. Do you hear tthe Voice of Customer?
To find out, see how many customer interactions you have. This article on iSixSigma suggests the following checklist to see that you are increasing your customer interactions…and therefore improving the
- Is there sufficient time in your quality project planning phase (i.e. Define) to fully understand the customer requirements of your process?
- Are suppliers and subcontractors included in project/process measurement and improvement efforts?
- Do you have tracking systems for monitoring success at meeting customer requirements (e.g. dashboard)?
- Do you have a corrective action system in place for quantifying and addressing improvement areas where customer requirements are not being met?
- Is Voice of the Customer (e.g. survey, e-survey, focus groups) being collected for desired improvements or innovations?
- Do you have a certification process and training program to educate employees and suppliers on meeting customer requirements?
- Are professional or user conferences attended by your company to interact with customers in a non-pressure type environment?
- Are customers included in problem solving projects or teams? How about benchmarking teams, product design (i.e. DFSS) teams, or pilot projects?
- Is time allotted to develop and grow a relationship with the customer in which mutual trust and respect evolve from a thorough understanding of each other's industry and business?
- Are multiple channels open to the customer at many levels in your organization (e.g. face-to-face meetings, surveys, letters of complaint, call center)?
Also, suggested steps to ensure success:
- Understand Customer Value in Improvement
- Include Voice of the Customer in All Processes
- Develop Systems to Quantify Feedback
- Involve the Customer in Improvements
- Share Improvements with Customer