Voice of the Customers (VOC) vs. Voice of Non-Customers (VONC)

Many of us are familiar with the importance of Voice of the Customer (VOC). Thanks to process improvement methodologies like Six Sigma that emphasize VOC. Voice of the Customers helps in understanding what’s important to customers. It helps in aligning services and process outcomes to those expectations, resulting in customer satisfaction. We assume that customer satisfaction leads to business success.

Along with VOC, we should also pay attention to Voice of Non-Customers (VONC). It helps us to understand why certain people did not prefer our products and services.

But how do we get VONC, when these people are not using our products and services? How do we know such people might have interest in our products and services? Here are some ideas –


Direct sources:

  • Interacting directly with non-customers (I used to do this without disclosing my identity at competitor service centers, sales outlets, etc.)
  • Survey of non-customers, usually people who are using competitor products, by engaging a professional and independent survey agency
  • Feedback from customers who are leaving the current services/products (some sort of exit feedback)


Indirect sources:

  • Interactions with distributors, retailers, and sales agents (by collecting both quantitative and qualitative information)
  • Social media and Big data (including information collected from various internal and external data sources)
  • Market and usage information from public domains


There may be many more ways to collect the information. The key is to collect and analyze both VOC and VONC.

VONC analysis helps in many areas and helps mainly in improving customer acquisition (including product/service design and customization, pricing models, after sales service options, etc.).

In summary, VOC helps in retaining customers and possibly getting new customers with a positive word of mouth. VONC helps in new customer acquisition by addressing gaps or missing elements that are important to current non-customers.

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