The Kano Model. A Means of Analyzing Customer Desires.
What is the relationship between customer satisfaction and the characteristics of products or services?
The Kano Model describes the connection between the realization of customer requirements and customer satisfaction. It is not possible to deduce an overall satisfaction level from the Kano Model. Different customer requirements are indicated by different lines.
Excitement attributes are not expected by (potential) customers. Existing excitement attributes can lead to disproportionate satisfaction.
Performance attributes are explicitely requested by customers and have direct impact on satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Example: High fuel consumption – dissatisfied customer; low fuel consumption – satisfied customer.
The zone of indifference indicates an area in which expectations in requirements are more or less fulfilled. Outside the zone satisfaction and dissatisfaction respectively increase disproportionally.
Threshold attributes are taken for granted; customers become aware of them only if they are missing. The have no effect on satisfaction levels but can cause dissatisfaction if missing. Example: passenger-side airbag.
Over time, excitement attributes become performance attributes and subsequently threshold attributes. A good example is mobile technology or IT.
What is the Kano Model?
The Kano Model describes the connection between customer satisfaction and the realization of customer requirements. Noriaki Kano, professor (emeritus) of Tokyo University of Science, developed a model for customer satisfacton in 1978, known today as the Kano Model. He determined 5 characteristics of customer requirements:
- Threshold attributes (Must-be qualities). These attributes are taken for granted when fulfilled but result in dissatisfaction when not fulfilled. Customers expect these attributes and view them as basic; it is unlikely that they are going to tell the company about them when asked about quality attributes.
- Performance attributes (One-dimensional qualities). These attributes result in satisfaction when fulfilled and dissatisfaction when not fulfilled. These are attributes that are spoken and the ones in which companies compete. If they are excelled customer satisfaction increases accordingly.
- Excitement attributes (Attractive qualities). These attributes provide satisfaction when achieved but do not cause dissatisfaction when not fulfilled. They are not normally expected and thus often unspoken.
- Indifferent qualities. These aspects are neither good or bad and have no effect, positive or negative, on customer satisfaction.
- Reverse qualities. If these aspects exist they lead to dissatisfaction; if they do not exist they do not lead to satisfaction.
It is not possible to deduce an overall satisfaction level from the Kano Model.