How to use the Kano model to improve customer satisfaction – Insights from a UX agency

UX agencies provide a variety of services to other companies to help them maintain and grow their business with satisfied customers. One of these methods is applying the Kano model. Apart from UX design agencies, not many companies know how to use it to improve customer satisfaction. Many aren’t even aware of the opportunity!

In this article, you will learn more about what the Kano model is, its relation to UX design, and how to use it to improve how your users view your products or services!

Before knowing how to use it: what is the Kano model of customer satisfaction?

As the name implies, the Kano model focuses on improving customer satisfaction. Incidentally, this is also one of the main goals of UX design.

How can the Kano model help your business?

By gaining deeper insight into how users may feel about certain features and by identifying their priorities when it comes to the final form of a product or service.

The origins of the model can be traced to a paper published back in 1984 by a Japanese researcher named Noriaki Kano. One of the benefits of knowing how to use the Kano model is that it’s not just about showing a certain level of satisfaction towards a certain feature. The Kano model is not a linear scale: apart from satisfaction, functionality is another dimension of this model. This not only shows how well you’ve implemented a feature but how much investment it took (or will require) on your part.

This means that by knowing how to use the Kano model, you can not only improve customer satisfaction but your return on investment as well, by identifying the areas of your products and services that are worth investing in and produce the greatest results among members of your target audience.

How to use the Kano model: customer satisfaction priorities

The model classifies product features/customer priorities into 5 different categories.

These are:

  1. Performance

The more, the better! This is how this category can be summarized. Performance-related features are transparent and clear-cut, and customers can easily compare them: an older bottle of scotch, a faster sports car, the battery of headphones, etc.

  • Attractiveness

These features are about exceeding the expectations of your user base. Elements that your target audience doesn’t expect but will be even more satisfied with if implemented in the right way. This is how you can identify features that can lead to a competitive advantage.

  • Must-have

As opposed to attractiveness, which is about exceeding expectations, this category is about meeting expectations. There is no way around implementing these features. If you do, it won’t have a great effect on satisfaction – as users expect these as a default feature – but if you don’t, it can have a very detrimental effect on customer satisfaction (such as not having electricity in a hotel room).

  • Reverse

This category covers all elements that you should avoid at all costs because users simply don’t like them. If users dislike anything about the interface of a software, this is the opportunity to create a platform that omits elements that cause users to be frustrated (such as a confusing menu structure or search bar).

  • Indifferent

Features that users simply don’t care about: whether they are present or not makes no difference to their level of satisfaction. Great for identifying features that are now worth investing in.

How to use the Kano model to improve customer satisfaction with the help of a UX design agency

So how does a UX agency use the Kano model to improve user satisfaction?

One of the simplest ways to use the Kano model in UX design is to evaluate surveys and interviews and compile qualitative and quantitative results according to the 5 categories of the model. A professional UX agency can be a great help when it comes to market research and conducting user interviews.

These are the main steps you need to follow to use the Kano model:

  1. You need to clearly specify which features you want to get feedback on. Agencies usually ask businesses to list about 15-20 features of a product/service.
  2. Selecting candidates, specifying the demographics of what kind of users you want to get feedback from.
  3. Actual research. Can be quantitative, qualitative, or both. Professional UX agencies are well-versed in different research methods, and know what questions to ask to get the most valuable insight possible.
  4.  Analyzing the results. A good UX agency will provide a clear, unambiguous answer as to how users feel about each of the features you listed before the research took place.

You can learn more about how to use the Kano model in practice by clicking on the link.

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