Customer Satisfaction Model

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Measuring client happiness. Explanation of Customer Satisfaction Model of Kano. ('84)



Kano customer satisfaction model

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 satisfaction:

  1. 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'.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1. Indifferent attributes. The customer does not care about this feature.
  2. Questionable attributes. It is unclear whether this attribute is expected by the customer.
  3. 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.

  1. For each product feature a pair of questions is formulated to which the customer can answer in one of five different ways.
  2. The first question concerns the reaction of the customer if the product shows that feature (functional question);
  3. The second question concerns the reaction of the customer if the product does NOT show this feature (dysfunctional question).
  4. By combining the answers all attributes can be classified into the six factors.

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