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Kano Model

When we’re developing a new product, or adding new features to the current product, it’s essential that we understand our customer wants and needs. The product could be for an internal team or for an external user but the question remains the same - what features do we need to develop that would meet our customers’ needs?

There are a few popular frameworks that organizations use to figure out - features to develop and their priority. If you aren’t using one then it’s alright but, validating the “want” is essential and I’d suggest you to pick one that works best for your scenario.

Today, I’m going to explain a framework that I have used extensively when I worked with product teams, which is Kano Model.

What is Kano Model?

The premise behind using Kano model is to understand customer satisfaction with respect to product features and its services. In Kano model, a questionnaire is sent to the customer and based on the responses, the features are categorized into 5 sections:

  1. Must-be: Features that customers expect a product or service to have. For example: a cell phone should be able to send messages.
  2. Performance: Features that customer want to have that adds to their enjoyment of the product. For example: a cell phone should have a higher ram and cpu to stream videos online.
  3. Attractive: Features that delight customers and give an edge over your competitor. For example: a bigger screen.
  4. Indifferent: Features that customers think are neither good or bad. For example: the size of camera at the back of your cell phone.
  5. Reverse: Features that can cause dissatisfaction. For example: company logo shows up when your cell phone starts.

These 5 sections are distributed on the scale of functionality (x-axis) and customer satisfaction (y-axis), shown as follows:

Kano Model

Reiterating, we use Kano model to analyze features’ relation with customer satisfaction. Some of the questions that we can answer using Kano model:

  1. Do our current features have high customer satisfaction?
  2. What features can we introduce to drive customer satisfaction?
  3. What features can give us an edge against our competitor in regards to customer satisfaction?
  4. What are the must have features for our customers?

Why would we want to use Kano Model?

In my experience, with the advent of technology and information, we need to constantly ask ourselves what our customer wants? We should always be listening to what our customers are saying, understand their perspective and constantly evolve the product, not just for today but for the future as well. This where Kano model helps:

  1. Saves time and money.
  2. Identify key features.
  3. Improve customer satisfaction for both new and current products.

While all of this is great but we haven’t touched on the most important aspect of this model, which is, building the questionnaire. To generate correct insights from our customer responses it is critical that we ask questions that are easy to comprehend and answer. Kano model suggest that we ask 3 kinds of questions to our customers:

Evaluation Table

Functional: How do you feel if you have this feature? Dysfunctional: How do you feel if you do not have this feature?

Kano model works great if you’re working on a startup but I’ve worked with PM teams in big organizations where they’ve used this model to increase customer satisfaction. If you want to read more about it, you can check kano mode wiki and kano model

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.