Website Design and Voice of the Customer
A major company that I worked for wanted to redesign their internal website. They assigned their best programmers and some marketing people to design the new website. The programmers insisted on putting all the latest bells and whistles on the website and convinced the project leader that these were necessary upgrades. Unfortunately they did not complete any voice of the customer (VOC) exercises in the design of the website, they did not do any surveys, focus groups or figure out what was critical to the internal customers. They were too enamored with the latest website designs.
The first preview or showing of the new website was a disaster that ended in chaos. The programmers were disheartened and did not know what to do. A senior manager suggested some voice of the customer tools to the team and they quickly started them. Small focus groups yielded the best information. They gradually redesigned the website and incorporated many of the suggestions of the internal customers. The website was a huge success and many of its principles were reapplied to the company’s external website but now without thoroughly testing the voice of the external customers first.