Customer Experience

How Customer Experience (CX) Works: The Kano Model Explained

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How Customer Experience (CX) Works: The Kano Model Explained

Customer Experience (CX) becomes successful when it delights the respective customers. A fundamental principle to this is ensuring that basic features of a product or service are in place, as illustrated by the Kano Model, developed by Noriaki Kano. When essential attributes of a product or service aren't up to par, dissatisfaction can arise quickly.

Understanding the Kano Model

The Kano Model describes the relationship between the features of a product or service and customer satisfaction. Various factors are classified and structured to showcase how they influence customer satisfaction in different ways. The model's originator, Noriaki Kano, a Japanese researcher, aimed to provide insights into why certain features are more impactful than others in terms of customer satisfaction.

Origin of the Kano Model

Frederick Herzberg, an American professor, noted in 1959 that people aren't automatically satisfied just because they have no reasons to be dissatisfied. Building on this observation, he introduced the Two-Factor Theory, which posits that satisfaction and dissatisfaction are independent of each other. Herzberg's theory identifies two types of factors: Motivation and Hygiene. While hygiene factors influence dissatisfaction, motivation factors influence satisfaction. Noriaki Kano further refined Herzberg's theory in 1978 to define various features determining customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

Functioning of the Kano Method

The Kano Model prioritizes the significance of various product and service features concerning customer satisfaction. It distinguishes between Basic Features, Performance Features, Delight Features, Indifferent Features, and Rejection Features.

  • Basic Features: These are fundamental, implicit expectations that customers have. For example, in a hotel, clean towels and a made bed are basic expectations.
  • Performance Features: These are attributes that customers consciously evaluate when comparing products. For instance, breakfast offerings or room service in a hotel could be considered performance features.
  • Delight Features: These are unexpected features that can thrill customers. A free spa access or a welcome drink in a hotel can be considered as delight features.
  • Indifferent Features: These attributes neither add to nor subtract from customer satisfaction. They might cater to a niche segment or exist for cost-saving purposes.
  • Rejection Features: These features might not increase satisfaction if present, but their absence can cause significant dissatisfaction. It could be something as abstract as the interior design of a hotel room or as tangible as the hotel's location.

Over time, the importance of features can change. For instance, free Wi-Fi in hotels was once a unique feature, but now it's an expected basic feature.

Analysis and Evaluation Through Surveys

It's essential to understand that the classification of product features in the Kano Model isn't universal. Different customer groups have varying requirements. Hence, it's crucial to define and thoroughly characterize your target personas. Aligning their preferences with your product features using a survey designed in the spirit of the Kano Model can be beneficial.

How Can CX Advisory Help?

CX Advisory can provide insights into how to apply the Kano Model effectively. With expert advice, businesses can understand their customers better, prioritize features that truly matter, and create delightful experiences. By leveraging such models, organizations can drive customer loyalty and build a robust brand reputation.


Closing Thoughts

Customer Experience is a dynamic domain, and the Kano Model offers a structured approach to navigate it. By understanding and meeting customer expectations, businesses can not only satisfy but also delight their customers, paving the way for lasting success.


How Customer Experience (CX) Works: The Kano Model Explained

CXO on Demand

An experienced CX professional with a global journey spanning digital agencies to top corporations, Michal is passionate about helping businesses create unforgettable customer experiences.