Vocal Insights Innovare's Voice of the Customer - Customer Needs Discovery



Voice of the Customer Research with Innovare

The essence of innovation is to provide solutions that address customer needs better than anyone else.   Voice of the Customer research helps you identify and truly understand customer needs so you can focus your organization towards solving the key problems that will excite your customers. 

Vocal Insights® 

Innovare's best practice Voice of the Customer
Customer Needs Discovery Research

Vocal Insights is our customer research process for front-end teams. It helps teams get below the surface of the customer's language, explores their motivations, perceptions, and experiences and uncovers their spoken and unspoken needs. Vocal Insights is a critical front-end process step before concept development.

The following slides show the main steps in our Vocal Insights front-end team process. 

  • Step 1: design & recruit - we define  which customers and what topics to explore
  • Step 2: The customer visit - In-depth Interviews provides a solid foundation
  • We set aside our preconcieved notions and truely listen to the customer
  • Step 3: We observe the customer in their natrual environment capturing artifacts, photos, videos...
  • We explore what the customer experiences, their delighters, pain points, and work arounds
  • Step 4: We delve into the data extracting key voices and images of experiences and needs
  • Step 5: The team immersion workshop - where we share and socialize the customer voices
  • We map the Voice of the Customer creating our shared understanding of the findings
  • We create "customer need" story boards to articulate the problems to solve
  • step 6: We use the customer needs storyboards to focus concept development
  • Our goal: Defining problems that if solved will excite the customer

Based on the principles of Voice of the Customer and ethnographic research, Vocal Insights combines in-field, on-site observations with in-depth interviews. 

We draw customers out to reflect on their experiences, tell stories, and provide descriptions and examples of what excites them and what challenges they face.  All within context of their daily business or personal lives. 

Team Immersion Enhances Innovation Effectiveness

One of the unique features of Vocal Insights is how we immerse front-end teams to enhance their innovation effectiveness. Core front-end team members and the Innovare consultants work together through each step of the process.

We complete the project with an engaging "hands-on" Immersion workshop  that involves the core team, extended team members and stakeholders. We interact with the voice of the customer data and create an organized framework that clearly identifies the customer's perceptions, values and contextual needs. Along the way we socialize the findings and give ownership of the results to the innovation organzation.

Immersion creates an "almost like being there" experience for team members.  It imbeds the customer experience knowledge deep within the team providing a foundation for ideation.

We establish a clear prioritization of customer needs and generate "problems to be solved" statements and customer Need Insight Storyboards. These become key inputs and targets for creating solution concepts.   

Vocal Insights Slide Show Case Study with Blue Cross Blue Shield 
Presented by Nick Kompare, Vice President, Excellus BCBS and Don Ross, President, Innovare

View  Vocal Insights at Pearson Education in the following Video

WBR-TV Video on Vocal Insights

Voice of the Customer Training

We provide comprehensive Vocal Insights training to innovation and Six Sigma teams through our experiential learning process. Visit our VOC training page.


Align the Team and Accelerate Innovation

Here are three key outcomes when you use Vocal Insights:

1:   Our approach generate fresh customer need insights and instills passion for customer- centered  innovation throughout your organization.

2:   We immerse your innovation team and stakeholders into the customer's world, enabling them to create a shared understanding of key customer needs.  That process provides focus on the problems to be solved and where to apply the team's creativity and innovation expertise. 

3:   No more endless debates or second guessing.  With the team and broader organization aligned on the customer need problem statements the innovation process is faster, more efficient, and much more effective.

Whether you're in an emerging business or a mature industry, Vocal Insights can help your team develop deep understanding of customer needs and create better new products and services.



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