Customer Satisfaction and the Kano Model

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Customer satisfaction is a key indicator between staying in business or bankruptcy or having a job or not. You have customers whether you believe it or not. Anyone who receives a work product from you is a customer or client. 

Customer Satisfaction and the Kano Model

The Basics 

The Kano Model is insightful because it measures three different elements of customer satisfaction. First, it looks at the Basics - those "must have" items. If the product does not have them, the customer has little or no options for satisfaction.

For example, suppose you want to buy a car, it "must have" wheels and a motor or engine, right? There are numerous other "must haves" depending on your level of expectations for a car and money you plan to spend.

So, whatever your Basics are, notice that the Kano Model chart below shows that those do not even move your satisfaction to Neutral!

And, more importantly, if you aren't meeting your boss's expectations, you aren't close to Neutral on the satisfaction chart either!


The next level in the Kano Model is Performance. That means, the more that you can get of an item, the higher your satisfaction. So, for a car, it could be horsepower, luxury, sound system, quality, or all of those combined.

Note that Performance has a different correlation to satisfactions than Basics. Performance is a straight line from bottom left to top right. If you can get or give more of Performance related items, the greater the satisfaction. Or, obviously, the less you have of them, the greater the dissatisfaction. 

If you think about your job, it may be the volume of work product - how much work you complete. More often, in a job, timeliness or meeting deadlines is the key. Of course, making or saving money are important performance items too. And, most companies are interested in innovation, so it could be how many ideas you have provided. More is better when looking at the Performance related items.


Finally, the most interesting part of this model is Delighters. Notice where this line starts and then where it ends. It starts above Neutral and does not even have to be completely present in the product. That means it can give a "feeling" of being present. That shows up based on the perception that customers have about the product. It may not be the "best", but it is perceived that way.

For your boss, a Delighter would be like you taking initiative on something that was suggested as important. That is a perfect time to use the "Magic Phrase" which will be a Delighter for most supervisors. Click here to download the Magic Phrase document.

Here is a good guideline to consider for your customers. Don't work on Delighters, if you aren't fulfilling the Basics or Performance items.


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