Voice-of-the-Customer Process (VOC)

My modifications preserve the focus of Griffin and Hauser’s hallmark, VOC process.

Griffin and Hauser1 concentrate on “the tasks of identifying, structuring, and providing priorities for customer needs.”

Modifications and their benefits

1 VOC interviews limited to cold-call, phone interviews with potential customers on their needs for the client’s product concept.


  • Speedy contact with the customer and their acceptance to start an interview.
  • A skilled VOC phone interviewer2, in the first 15 sec. of contact, assumes the role of an “Intelligent Pupil’ while putting the customer in the role of the “Professor.”
  • Low cost compared to face-to-face interviews.

No travel expenses or last minute cancellation by desired interviewee.

  • Easy to maintain a Blind Study

The customer’s responses are unbiased.

They don’t learn the identity of the client.

2 Interviewers are masters of the art of competitive intelligence (CI) elicitation2

  • CI elicitation is an open-dialogue way to discreetly gather information. CIA and FBI are practitioners.


    • Interviewer gathers valuable, non-public insights on needs from key customers.


  1. The Voice of Customer Abbie Griffin, John Hauser, Marketing Science Institute Report No. 92-106 (1972)
  2. a.“Elicitation is a technique used to discretely gather information. It is a conversation with a specific purpose: collect information that is not readily available and do so without raising suspicion that specific facts are being sought. It is non-threatening, easy to disguise, and effective”

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) brochure,“Elicitation Techniques”

b. Confidential John Nolan, Harper Business, NY, NY (1999)