The Kano Model in Customer Experience and Continuous Improvement

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Review of: Kano Model for Customer Satisfaction

Reviewed by:
On April 3, 2014
Last modified:October 21, 2014


Kano Model for Customer Satisfaction is a great article with practical steps on how to actually do a Kano Analysis.

There are many customer satisfaction models in the marketplace. One very important model is the Kano Model, which we’ll discuss today. In this article, we’ll discuss the following:

  • The origins of the Kano Model
  • Key Elements of Kano
  • Methodology
  • Applications of Kano
  • Examples of how to use Kano Analysis

Origins of the Kano Model

The Kano Model concept was derived by Noriaki Kano in his article entitled “Kano, N., Takahshi, F & Tsuji, S. (1984). Attractive quality and must-be quality. The Journal of the Japanese Society for Quality Control, April, pp. 39-48.” Noriaki Kano was a professor at Tokyo Rika University and focused his research on how to satisfy customers. The prevailing idea at the time was that give the customers more would make them happy.

He didn’t believe that.

So, he challenged the prevalent customer satisfaction models of “more is better” and proposed a new line of thinking based on the following ideas:

  • Performance on product and service attributes is not equal in the eyes of the customer.
  • Performance on certain category attributes produces higher levels of satisfaction than others.

In other words, there are product and service attributes for which “more” doesn’t equal satisfaction.

Key Elements of Kano

The Kano Model is not difficult to understand. It is based on a few key elements:

  • Identify the voice of the customer (VoC)
  • Translate the voice of the customer into critical to quality characteristics (CTQ)
  • Rank the CTQ’s into three categories:
    • Dissatisfier: “Must be” / Cost of Entry
    • Satisfier: “More is better” / Competitive
    • Delighter: “Latent Need” / Differentiator
  • Evaluate current performance of the process, product, or service

To obtain the voice of the customer, often Surveys, Interviews, Focus Groups, Observation, and Customer Complaints are the most common ways to obtain customer data.

kano model in lean six sigma

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