Fuel Cycle

A Non-Researcher’s Guide To The Kano Model

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Any successful business owner will tell you that it’s nearly impossible to launch a product or service effectively without understanding what your customers care about- and to understand what customers care about, brands must invest in market research. Although market research can be an intimidating term for non-researchers, it simply means gathering consumers’ feedback about your offering.

There are numerous research methods that brands can deploy, such as templated surveys, focus groups, in-depth interviews, observation, and more. While collecting the data is relatively straightforward, the interpretation of the data is where things get fuzzy. Thankfully, with a well-crafted study following the Kano Model, it’s simple to interpret customer satisfaction effectively. The Kano method takes the guesswork out of customer wants and needs and helps businesses launch the best products and services possible. Keep reading for more on the Kano model.

Implementing The Kano Model In Three Steps

A Japanese researcher named Noriaki Kano introduced a format to help market researchers determine customers’ satisfaction with product features, and that format became the Kano model. Any market research method that follows the Kano Model will be easier to measure in customer satisfaction and customer delight. Here’s how to implement it in your next study.

Step 1 – Getting Started

Anytime you utilize the Kano model, you will measure product features against customer satisfaction and functionality. For example, a typical satisfaction scale ranges from “frustrated” to “delighted,” while the functionality scale ranges from “none” to “best.” Features that illicit “satisfied” or “delighted” ratings should be kept, while features that are rated as “neutral,” “dissatisfied,” or “frustrated” should be avoided. Additionally, features that are rated as having no functionality, some functionality, or basic functionality should also be reconsidered.

Step 2 – Diving Deeper

In addition to measuring features on a scale, the Kano model also puts features into categories: performance, must-be, attractive, and indifferent. “Performance” is how well a feature works, “must-be” refers to “must-haves,” “attractive” refers to unexpected features, and “indifferent” is for features that the customer does not care about one way or the other. See the diagram below for a visual representation of the feature categories.

Step 3 – Conclusions

When functionality and satisfaction are appropriately measured with the Kano model, researchers can drill down even further to determine which features dissatisfy, satisfy, or delight their customers. Dissatisfiers are the features customers expect a product to have, like a phone that can access the internet. Satisfiers give a product improved functionality, like a phone that has fast browsing speeds. Delighters are features that make a customer say “wow!” such as a phone that unlocks itself based on your facial profile alone.

Appeal to Your Customers

As a business owner, you may think you know your customers inherently; however, there is no way to know for sure without data. With the proper research methods and the Kano model, you can learn definitively what appeals to your customers and what doesn’t.

Check out our ebook, The Essential Guide to Becoming a Market Research Powerhouse to learn more about leveraging data to make better business decisions.

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