Kano Model of Customer Satisfaction and its Importance
Dr. S. Shyam Prasad
Meeting customer needs (CNs) profitably is marketing. It is no wonder then the businesses are increasingly focusing on satisfying the CNs. In the highly competitive environment, retaining the customers is a major issue with the businesses. The Kano model of customer satisfaction is useful in understanding and interpreting thoroughly the customer needs. By understanding the different types of CNs, businesses can factor them in product design and modifications and may gain competitive advantage over others. This short article discusses the Kano’s model and its relevance to both the product and the service marketing. This article would make an interesting read to both the students of marketing as well as others.
It is now well understood that retaining old customers is more profitable than attracting new customers. Several studies have shown that customer loyalty is dependent on the customer’s perception of the quality of the goods or services provided (Gorst et al., 1998; Sirohi et al., 1998). The customer loyalty-customer satisfaction association is one of the most vital relationships for marketing theory and practice (Anderson et al. 2004; Bolton and Lemon 1999; Fornell 1992; Reichheld and Sasser 1990). The extant literature posits customer satisfaction as the primary driver of customer loyalty (Reinartz and Kumar 2003). The challenge than for the businesses is to deal with customer satisfaction. The businesses have to answer questions like what products and services can be offered to the customer to provide a high level of customer satisfaction? Which features and attributes of the offerings are likely to provide or drive greater satisfaction to the customers? Among the methods used to answer these questions and analyze the CNs, the Kano model has been widely considered by the industries as an effective tool owing to its convenience in classifying CNs based on survey data (Kano et al., 1984).
The Kano Model of Customer (Consumer) Satisfaction
The Kano Model of Customer Satisfaction classifies product attributes based on how they are perceived by customers and their effect on customer satisfaction. These classifications are useful for guiding design decisions in that they indicate when good is good enough, and when more is better. The Kano Model is also known as “Kano Analysis” was created by Japan’s Dr. Noriaki Kano in 1984 and to this day it remains to be a useful tool in Product and Service Development. The model brings out the nonlinear relationship between the product performance and customer satisfaction. The model divides product attributes into four categories: threshold, performance, excitement and indifferent (Figure 1).
Figure 1 Kano’s model