Managers don’t need any more vague advice about paying better attention to customers. They need the practical, step-by-step methods described in this article. In 1990, a medical equipment manufacturer needed to redesign one of its products to beat an aggressive competitor. It used a method called the “House of Quality,” which related market research information directly to product design, thereby helping the company focus effectively on the most important product benefits. The new design revolutionized the product and was a phenomenal success. Here’s how the company did it.
1. J.R. Hauser and D.P. Clausing, “The House of Quality,” Harvard Business Review, May-June 1988, pp. 63–73.
3. For a head-to-head comparison of communications patterns in an HOQ process with those in a traditional phase review process, see:
A. Griffin and J.R. Hauser, “Patterns of Communication among Marketing, Engineering, and Manufacturing — A Comparison between Two New Product Teams,” Management Science 38 (1992): 360–371.
For a scientific examination of different methods to identify the voice of the customer, see:
J.R. Hauser and A. Griffin, “The Voice of the Customer,” Marketing Science 12 (1993): 1–25.
4. For a comparison of methods, see:
Griffin and Hauser (1993), ibid.
5. The customer incurs no out-of-pocket cost. PB dispatches a new unit the same day and pays all shipping costs to and from the customer. The customer need only place the old unit in the box in which the new unit was shipped, affix an enclosed label, and call. PB arranges for pickup. In other words, the customer service programs were also based on the identified customer needs.