Foreword: Listening to the Voice of the Market

I had the privilege to write the Foreword to Dr. Eric Reidenbach’s book, Listening to the Voice of the Market: How to Increase Market Share and Satisfy Current Customers.

Dr. Reidenbach is the author of many books about Marketing, Six Sigma Marketing and Voice of the Customer.

Foreword to Listening to the Voice of the Market

When I was a kid my brothers and I would go to a local BMX track we called the Arco, named for the gas station it was tucked behind.  Every Saturday dozens of bikes – everything from Huffys to Redlines – swarmed the track.  The collective bike knowledge of this pack of preteens was awe inspiring.  If you wanted the dirt on a new bike all you had to do was go to the Arco and ask around.

As consumers, if we want to get the scoop on something, where do we go? We go to the people who own that something.  We go to the market.  Typically, when companies want to improve their product where do they go?  They go to their customers.  But why not go to the market?

What’s the distinction? Simply put, the market consists of your customers –you’re your competitors’ customers. In this eye opening book, Eric Reidenbach introduces the reader to a groundbreaking concept:  the Voice of the Market (VOM).

Eric’s expertise in Voice of Customer (VOC)/VOM dynamics was crucial to a particular research study for iSixSigma Magazine.  Working closely with him opened my eyes to the value of the Voice of the Market and how it exists as a vastly untapped resource. In particular, any company with a continuous improvement initiative such as Six Sigma would find VOM data effective in driving substantial product improvement.

In today’s competitive global economy, it’s no longer sufficient to satisfy your customers; you have to delight them. Even then, to grow your company you cannot delight only your customers. Imagine delighting your competitor’s customers…you just might gain market share. As someone who has spent the last seven years swimming in Six Sigma research topics, never before has a theme resonated so clearly with me.  Voice of the Market is common sense for the masses.

You cannot afford to ignore the customers outside your circle.  Dr. Reidenbach’s thought process tells us that if you want to know what the people want, then go to them…go down to the Arco and ask around.