THE KANO MODEL: HOW TO DELIGHT YOUR CUSTOMERS Elmar Sauerwein , Franz Bailom, Kurt Matzler, Hans H. Hinterhuber* Department of Management, University of Innsbruck
Which products and services can be used to obtain a high level of customer satisfaction? Which product features have a more than proportional influence on satisfaction, and which attributes are an absolute must in the eyes of the customer? So far customer satisfaction was mostly seen as a one-dimensional construction - the higher the perceived product quality, the higher the customer’s satisfaction and vice versa. But fulfilling the individual product requirements to a great extent does not necessarily imply a high level of customer satisfaction. It is also the type of requirement which defines the perceived product quality and thus customer satisfaction. Departing from Kano’s model of customer satisfaction, a methodology is introduced which determines which influence the components of products and services have on customer satisfaction. The authors also demonstrate how the results of a customer survey can be interpreted and how conclusions can be drawn and used for the management of customer satisfaction is demonstrated. Kano’s model of customer satisfaction In his model, Kano (Kano, 1984) distinguishes between three types of product requirements which influence customer satisfaction in different ways when met: Must-be requirements: If these requirements are not fulfilled, the customer will be extremely dissatisfied. On the other hand, as the customer takes these requirements for granted, their fulfillment will not increase his satisfaction. The must-be requirements are basic criteria of a product. Fulfilling the must-be requirements will only lead to a state of "not dissatisfied". The customer regards the must-be requirements as prerequisites, he takes them for granted and therefore does not explicitly
* Professor Hans H. Hinterhuber is head of the Department of Management at the University of Innsbruck and
professor of international management at the Bocconi University of Economics in Milano; Franz Bailom, Kurt Matzler and Elmar Sauerwein are assistant professors at the Department of Management at the University of Innsbruck
in: Preprints Volume I of the IX. International Working Seminar on Production Economics, Innsbruck/Igls/Austria, February 19-23 1996, pp. 313 -327
demand them. Must-be requirements are in any case a decisive competitive factor, and if they are not fulfilled, the customer will not be interested in the product at all.
One-dimensional requirements Attractive requirements
- not expressed - customer tailored - cause delight - articulated - specified - measurable - technical
Requirement not fulfilled
M ust-be requirements
- implied - self-evident - not expressed - obvious
Fig. 1: Kano’s model of customer satisfaction (Berger et al., 1993) One-dimensional requirements: With regard to these requirements, customer satisfaction is proportional to the level of fulfillment - the higher the level of fulfillment, the higher the customer’s satisfaction and vice versa. One-dimensional requirements are usually explicitly demanded by the customer. Attractive requirements: These requirements are the product criteria which have the greatest influence on how satisfied a customer will be with a given product. Attractive requirements are neither explicitly expressed nor expected by the customer. Fulfilling these requirements leads to more than proportional satisfaction. If they are not met, however, there is no feeling of dissatisfaction. The advantages of classifying customer requirements by means of the Kano method are very clear: • priorities for product development. It is, for example, not very useful...