How the Kano Model Tells Us New York’s Ban on Large Sodas Won’t Work

Date: June 28, 2012 | Shawn Herbig | News | Comments Off on How the Kano Model Tells Us New York’s Ban on Large Sodas Won’t Work

As researchers, we don’t like to just make a knee-jerk prediction that something is going to fail. After all, that’s what research is for. To determine attitudes toward a particular idea or proposal, and see whether enough people support it to make it viable.

But we have enough experience and knowledge to be reasonably certain that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to eliminate soda sizes larger than 16 ounces is doomed to fail. And we can use the Kano Model, plus our own attitudes toward food, to figure it out. Let’s start with the Kano Model.

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You May Not Be Measuring Customer Satisfaction the Right Way

Date: June 21, 2012 | Shawn Herbig | News | Comments Off on You May Not Be Measuring Customer Satisfaction the Right Way

Measuring customer satisfaction is a valid exercise, but if you take on the task, it absolutely must be done the right way. There’s a lot of junk science out there that promises to give you an insight into what your customers are thinking, but the reality is, if you or your research company is not using the right survey and research methods, the results you get back can, at best, be ineffective, and, at worst, will send you in the wrong direction causing you to waste a lot of time and money fixing issues that are not important.

One can argue that fixing any problem is a good step in the right direction but in business successful companies learn quickly how to focus their priorities on the issues that matter most. The role of research is to identify the real issues that – when fixed – will help move a company forward.

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Market Research-Defining Customer Wants, Needs, and Desires Through the Kano Model

Date: May 22, 2012 | Shawn Herbig | News | Comments Off on Market Research-Defining Customer Wants, Needs, and Desires Through the Kano Model

Customer satisfaction…the pinnacle of all business goals. Market research shows when customers are satisfied or even delighted, then you can bank on return business and word-of-mouth recommendations.

The Kano Model is a way to measure customer satisfaction from a scientific perspective, because it puts customers’ expectations into an understandable model that can help you understand what is truly making a difference. It’s an effective market research model.

The Kano Model comprises three basic tenets: Basic Features, Performance Features, and Delight Features.

The Basic Feature concept includes items where if you do something absolutely perfectly, you impart no satisfaction into the equation, you don’t make people happy, and you get no customer satisfaction “credit” for it…but if you do something even slightly imperfectly, then you make your customers very unhappy..

For example, if someone orders an unsweetened ice tea in your restaurant, and that’s exactly what the person gets, then you get no benefit from it. They expected iced tea, they got iced tea. There is very little opportunity to delight the customer in this interaction. But if the tea is sour, or she gets sweetened tea instead, or maybe it’s warm…then that imparts significant dissatisfaction.

Next are the Performance Features, which are wholly linear. The better you do something, the more the satisfaction you earn; the worse you do or provide, the more dissatisfaction occurs. Most things you think of fall onto this type of analysis.

Back to the restaurant example, if the customer expects the risotto to be good, and it is, fine. But if it’s really good, then satisfaction increases. And if it’s horrible and nearly crunchy, then dissatisfaction dominates. Or if portion size is bigger than the customer expects, then you get points; if it’s tiny, you lose points. It’s pretty simple: do something well, satisfaction goes up, do something poorly, it goes down when you have a performance feature.

Delight Features are the coolest ones. These are less common and fleeting. They can’t count against you but have the potential to greatly benefit your business. There aren’t a lot of Delight Features, and they can quickly become Basic Features because when you overuse them or competitors take on the idea, which doesn’t add satisfaction.

A good example of a Delight Feature is a free dessert at a restaurant. Even if the customer didn’t really want a dessert, he’s delighted that it’s being offered, and even if it’s not the dessert the customer wanted, you still get bonus satisfaction points for surprising the customer (surprise has to be a factor in a Delight Feature). When you provide a Delight Feature, even if you do it incorrectly, you get credit for trying, and you impart satisfaction.

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