Mine Customer Experiences

Article

White, Edna; Behara, Ravi; Babbar, Sunil   (2002, ASQ)   Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL;

Quality Progress    Vol. 35    No. 7
QICID: 18090    July 2002    pp. 63-67
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Article Abstract

Customer feedback is a valuable source of information that provides organizations with a sound basis for making product improvements. An affinity diagram permits organization of vast amounts of quantitative data to identify patterns or groupings to allow better understanding of a problem. A database of students' actual experiences in dissatisfaction with products is used to illustrate the technique. A sample of 100 experiences was selected at random for analysis. A team developed a tentative affinity diagram and then independently reviewed the resulting groupings and headings for logic, consistency, and coherence. While the sample of customer problems was not drawn from the general population, the framework can be applied to all customer complaints. Customer complaint data must be used with caution, however, since only four percent of dissatisfied customers actually register a formal complaint. Information used to create an affinity diagram can be collected from many sources in addition to customer complaints. Using these same procedures, diagrams can be constructed for products with untypical characteristics, for particular market segments or industries or for individual companies. The affinity diagram approach may also be used for the evaluation and testing of new product development or as an initial step in organizing the voice of the customer. An affinity diagram allows managers to focus on key issues rather than an unorganized collection of information.

Keywords

Customer complaints,Case study,Affinity diagram,Product quality,Voice of the customer (VOC),Customer satisfaction (CS)


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