What is the customer satisfaction model? Description
The customer satisfaction model from N. Kano is a quality management and
marketing technique that can be used for measuring client happiness.
Kano's model of customer satisfaction distinguishes six categories of
quality attributes, from which the first three actually influence customer
- Basic Factors. (Dissatisfiers. Must have.) - The minimum requirements
which will cause dissatisfaction if they are not fulfilled, but do not cause
customer satisfaction if they are fulfilled (or are exceeded). The customer
regards these as prerequisites and takes these for granted. Basic factors
establish a market entry 'threshold'.
- Excitement Factors. (Satisfiers. Attractive.) - The factors that
increase customer satisfaction if delivered but do not cause dissatisfaction
if they are not delivered. These factors surprise the customer and generate
'delight'. Using these factors, a company can really distinguish itself
from its competitors in a positive way.
- Performance Factors. The factors that cause satisfaction if the
performance is high, and they cause dissatisfaction if the performance is
low. Here, the attribute performance-overall satisfaction is linear and
symmetric. Typically these factors are directly connected to customers'
explicit needs and desires and a company should try to be competitive here.
The additional three attributes which Kano mentions are:
- Indifferent attributes. The customer does not care about this
- Questionable attributes. It is unclear whether this attribute
is expected by the customer.
- Reverse attributes. The reverse of this product feature was expected
by the customer.
Origin of the customer satisfaction model. History
The approach towards analyzing customer satisfaction was first published
in an article by KANO, N. SERAKU, N., TAKAHASHI, F. & TSUJI, S. (1984) Attractive
quality and must-be quality, Hinshitsu (Quality, the Journal of Japanese Society
for Quality Control), 14, pp. 39-48.
Usage of the customer satisfaction model. Applications
Besides the obvious quality management and marketing usage, Kurt Matzler,
Matthias Fuchs and Astrid Schubert wonder in their article "Employee Satisfaction:
Does Kano's Model Apply?" (Total Quality Management & Business Excellence,
November-December 2004) whether Kano's model on customer satisfaction factors
is also relevant to describe employee satisfaction. Since employees can be
perceived as internal customers. They reach the conclusion that Kano's theory
is indeed useable for internal customers analysis as well.
Steps in the customer satisfaction model. Process
Kano developed a questionnaire to identify the basic, performance and excitement
factors as well as the other three additional factors.
- For each product feature a pair of questions is formulated to which
the customer can answer in one of five different ways.
- The first question concerns the reaction of the customer if the product
shows that feature (functional question);
- The second question concerns the reaction of the customer if the product
does NOT show this feature (dysfunctional question).
- By combining the answers all attributes can be classified into the six
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