What Do Customers Want? Professor Kano Knows
September 5, 2007 7 Comments
I’m guessing that many of you weren’t sure what this post would be about given the title. That’s because most people have never heard of Professor Noriaki Kano. But anyone who deals with customer experience (or product development) should definitely learn about his work. Professor Kano is probably best known for creating the Kano Model (developed in the 1980’s) that classifies customer preferences into five categories:
- Attractive (unexpected value)
- One-Dimensional (the more, the better)
- Must-Be (need to have these)
- Indifferent (no impact)
- Reverse (negative impact)
It’s critical that companies understand what attributes matter most to customers — and in what way. By classifying product/interaction attributes using the Kano Model, priorities become much clearer. Here’s how you make decisions:
- Meet the minimum requirement for all of the must-be attributes
- Add value with the one-dimensional attributes
- Infuse a few attractive attributes to really enhance the experience
- Make sure that you’re not investing in any indifferent attributes or creating any reverse attributes.
The bottom line: Not all customer preferences are equal. Use the Kano Model to (wisely) pick which ones to serve.