The Kano Model is a framework that is used to analyze customer needs and how those needs change as time goes on. It helps categorizing and prioritizing the different features of a product or service based on their impact to customer satisfaction. Those categories are then considered when analyzing potential opportunities for improvement. The Kano Model is often used to better understand how a product (or service) fits customer needs by mapping the existing or proposed features into the Kano categories.
After recording the Voice of the Customer information, we end up with the three types of features or benefits of products or services that influence customer satisfaction:
- The must be features.
- The performance features.
- The excitement features.
There is an expected quality that customers take for granted. The Must Be’s represent the basic criteria and the reasonable level of quality as determined by the customer. If these requirements are not present or are insufficient, customers will be extremely dissatisfied. On the other hand, if these requirements are present and sufficient, they will not bring satisfaction. Examples are: the timely and responsive customer service, the defect-free product, and the brakes and the windshield in the car.
The Performance Features (or the Satisfiers) are not absolutely necessary but result in satisfaction when fulfilled and dissatisfaction when not fulfilled. The more you provide of these features, the more the customer is satisfied. Organizations prioritize their efforts and put their strategies using these performance attributes. For instance, the more efficient the service, the more the customer will appreciate it. Example are: the speed of answering a phone in a call center, the reduced amount of spoilage in a production line, and the warranty period and the fuel consumption of the car.
Organizations should aim for giving customers more thanwhat they expect. The fulfillment of the Excitement Features (or the Delighters) will lead to high customer satisfaction. These are the features that distinguish your product or service. They are often unexpected, unspoken, and provided to the customers for no extra money. An example is when you book into a hotel and unexpectedly find a basket of fruit waiting for you in your room.
There are also the Indifferent Features (or neutral features). Those are whose presence does not bring satisfaction, but whose absence does not bring dissatisfaction. Examples are those product features that are never or rarely used by the customer. The Reverse Features on the other hand are those whose presence brings dissatisfaction. Those features refer to a high degree of achievement that results in dissatisfaction to some customers. For example, some customers prefer high-tech products, while others prefer the basic model of a product and will be dissatisfied if a product has too many extra features.
Using the Kano Model:
The following steps explain how to use the Kano Model:
- With your team, brainstorm all of the possible features of your product or service.
- Brainstorm everything you can do to excite your customers.
- Use the Kano Model to classify all features as basic, satisfier, delighter, indifferent, reverse, or not relevant. Get customers to do the classification where possible.
- Cut out all the indifferent and the non-relevant attributes.
- Make sure your product (or service) has all appropriate basic features.
- Select the right performance features so that the product or service can be delivered at a price which the customer is ready to pay.
- Think how you can build some of the delighters into your product or service.
- The Kano Model highlights how the customer requirements are constantly changing. Today’s delighters becomes tomorrow’s must be’s, requiring us to constantly come up with new delighters.
- The Kano Model identifies and prioritizes the needs of the customers, however, it does not present methods to be applied to carry out improvement activities.
- Results of applying the Kano Model can be used in the Quality Function Deployment (QFD) matrix to clarify relationship between customer needs and technical requirements.