How to Use the Kano Model for Service and Process Improvement

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The Kano Model

The Kano Model is a technique for developing products and services to increase customer satisfaction.

The creator Dr Noriaki’s model offers a simple ranking system that differentiates delighters, performance and basic attributes tied to customer quality.

The Kano Model helps businesses understand, integrate and prioritise things which make a product or service attractive to customers, improve its performance, differentiate it from competitors and give it what is essential for its success.

There are three different levels in the Kano Model.

LEVEL 1: Basic

This level is what customers take for granted or as a given. These are seen as essential aspects of a product or service that are mandatory for inclusion but might not result in the product or service success because consumers expect them. However, if a basic attribute isn’t satisfactory, it can have a negative impact on the product or service.

An example of a basic level would be for a hotel to offer a clean room with access to internet and breakfast (at a cost)

LEVEL 2: Performance

This next level highlights attributes that are not expected from a person as a standard but are expected as an optional extra. These make a product or service attractive to customers, improve the product performance and differentiates it from competitors.

An example of a performance level at the same hotel would be breakfast included at no extra cost, the option to use high speed internet, access to Netflix, free newspaper, chocolates on your pillow, pillow menu etc.



LEVEL 3: Excitement

The final level is excitement. These are attributes that customers will not expect. This gives the company a chance to think outside the box and be creative. This is a great way to stand out against your competitors and build customer loyalty and advocacy.

An example of an excitement level at the same hotel would be a help you sleep pack (sleep spray, eye mask etc), a games box for kids to use, staff to remember your preferences and anticipate your needs, invite to a returning guest cocktail party etc., someone to walk your dog, free dog treats etc.  Things you don’t get at other hotels!

Its is vital for businesses to look at how they can apply The Kano Model to their products and services. Making sure they have all the basics covered and then thinking outside the box for things to help them stand out.

This is not just a one off exercise, it is an ongoing process and your competition is always improving!


Watch our YouTube video below explaining the Kano Model: 


If you are interested in Lean Six Sigma Training contact Sales Training International on +44 (0) 1704 889325 or email for more information.

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