Excite and Delight Your Customers by Using the Kano Model

[article]

Attributes

Effort

Customer Satisfaction

How much should be done?

Basic/Threshold

Doing more

Neutral

Never do less. The customer may not even buy the product.

Doing less

Dissatisfied

Performance/Linear/One-Dimensional

Dong more

Satisfied

More is directly correlated to customer satisfaction.

Doing less

Dissatisfied

Excite/Delight

Doing more

Satisfied

This is where the product is separated from the competition.

Doing less

Neutral

Indifferent

Doing more

Neutral

Adds little or no business value.

Doing less

Neutral

Reverse

Doing more

Dissatisfied

Avoid these attributes.

Doing less

Satisfied

Customer Survey
After identifying and categorizing the features into basic/threshold, performance/linear/one-dimensional, excite/delight, indifferent, and reverse, a customer survey may be conducted to further break down and understand the customers’ preferences and needs.

A typical survey consists of paired comparison questions with an ordinal five-point scale. The goal is to design these questions so that half of the pair represents having a feature (functional form) and the other half indicates not having the feature (dysfunctional form).

Functional form of question:

How would you feel if the theater seats were fitted with seat heaters?

[1]  I like it     [2]  I must have it     [3]  I am neutral     [4]  I can live with it     [5]  I dislike it

Dysfunctional form of question:

How would you feel if the theater seats were not fitted with seat heaters?

[1]  I like it     [2]  I must have it     [3]  I am neutral     [4]  I can live with it     [5]  I dislike it

For the above pair, if the customer answers “I like it” for the functional question and “I can live with it” for the dysfunctional question, that means implementing the heated seats feature will excite the customer. See the below Kano evaluation table for other combinations.

Customer Requirements

Dysfunctional

 

 

1. Like

2. Must have

3. Neutral

4. Live with it

5. Dislike

E: Exciters

Functional

1. Like

Q

E

E

E

P

B: Basic

2. Must be

R

I

I

I

B

P: Performance

3. Neutral

R

I

I

I

B

I: Indifferent

4. Live with

R

I

I

I

B

R: Reverse

5. Dislike

R

R

R

R

Q

Q: Questionable

Figure 2. Kano evaluation table

Conclusion
When prioritizing the product backlog, all the basic attributes should be ranked at the top of the features list. After the basic attributes, the performance attributes should be ranked. Select as many performance attributes as possible. Unless it is mandatory for the project, indifferent attributes should be removed from the product backlog. Exciter attributes can be at the bottom of the ranking, but moving a few exciters up the list can significantly contribute to marketing the product.

User Comments

6 comments
Ed Kelly's picture

Great article with very good practical analogies.

May 1, 2014 - 10:53am
T. Pot's picture

Good article.  One Reverse Attribute I can think of is Auto-Correct in MS-Word (and Open Office and Office Libre).  At first, it was an Excite/Delight, but as they pushed the Auto-Correct it got in the way more, creating a bad user experience.  It went negative when I had to spend extra time turning off these "helpful" features.

May 1, 2014 - 10:34pm
Cordell Bourne's picture

Great Article.  Can you provide a few references on where to learn more about the Kano Model?

May 5, 2014 - 10:41am
Chandra Munagavalasa's picture

Thanks Cordell. You will find more information on Kano Model in Six Sigma books. Also, search google for "A Study on the Evaluation of Customers’ Satisfaction - The Perspective of Quality". This is a scientific paper from "International Journal for Quality research".

May 6, 2014 - 12:54pm

About the author

Chandra Munagavalasa's picture Chandra Munagavalasa

Chandra R. Munagavalasa, PMP, PSM I, PMI-ACP, currently works at SunGard Energy as a Manager in Software Development in Houston, TX. He works with several Microsoft products and his favorite development language is C#. He is also a PMP, PMI Agile Certified Practitioner and Professional Scrum Master-I. Chandra holds a Master’s degree in Industrial Management from IIT-Madras.

E-Mail: chandra.munagavalasa@gmail.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/chandra-munagavalasa/2/832/920
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cmunagavalasa

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