In the Race to Meet Shifting Customer Values,  Tap Into The Simple Genius of the Kano Model

Customers everywhere are undergoing a dramatic (sometimes unconscious) recalibration of their brand expectations.

For the brands who fail to measure, embrace, and adapt to these changes, the future may look very uncertain. If you doubt that, consider the many basic, everyday products and services that were so easily accessible, pre-COVID, that we took them for granted — that are now sought, hoarded, compared, rated, and prized as treasures. The reverse is also true. In response to these changes, most customer-centric brands are undergoing their own dramatic recalibrations.

That’s both wise and necessary. But in this rush to quantify, re-strategize, and retool for a still uncertain future, these organizations would also be well served to take a few giant steps back and take a fresh look at an old but highly relevant Kano model. In her recent article for Forbes, Jill Griffin strips the Kano model down to its most important three components, organized into a simple pyramid.

You can read more about it below. At Skybridge Americas, we specialize in helping North America’s leading brands meet their customers’ unique and evolving needs by delivering consistently superior customer experience. If you would like to know how we can help you, please reach out. We would love to talk!

Customer Value Lies In The Eyes Of The Beholder

By Jill Griffin

Much has been written about customer service through the years, but the events of the past few months have changed the conversation in a big way. The rise in on-line buying has created new questions about how to build customer loyalty with someone you never actually meet. Gone (at least for the time being) are the days where we walk into the Wal-Mart and see our favorite greeter and cashier. More and more of us are going online and making a faceless purchase delivered by a stranger/driver who leaves it on our doorstep.

So, how do we as business leaders build (or continue to build) customer loyalty in this environment?  The answer is, as it always has been, to  understand how your customers experience value and then wake up every day and be excellent at delivering it on their terms.

We all know that is easier said than done. Let’s begin by taking a look at how customers evaluate value.

How Customers Determine Value

First off, value is not just about price. Generally speaking, marketers have focused much of their energy and time on managing price, since upping the price can immediately increase profits. But customers are savvy and price is just one in an array of attributes that win their hearts. Focusing only on price is doomed to failure.

Pinpointing what your customers truly value is downright complicated. Here are some principles to guide you.

Value (and beauty, according to the old adage) always lies in the eyes of the beholder. Think: Quicken Loans, Best Buy Stores, Steve Job’s iPhone. Jobs and his creative team saw it first and then he made us see its beauty as well.

Value can be a powerful combination of products and services. Think: Amazon Prime and its “One Click” purchase feature

Perhaps the most groundbreaking work on how to maximize value delivery to best customers comes from Dr. Noriaki Kano, a renowned Japanese professor and customer value thought leader. Dr. Kano developed the thinking that not all service and product performance is equal in the eyes of best customers. Some performance creates higher levels of loyalty than others. His research suggested there are three performance levels that form a pyramid.

At the lowest level in the value pyramid is basic value. This is least must-have performance. For an overnight shipper like FedEx for example, accurate billing, prompt service assistance, are examples of basic service. Failure to deliver these basic services will result in customer dissatisfaction, but doing them well will not increase loyalty, because customers perceive them as minimum requirements.

READ the entire article here >

-Bobby Matthews

Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing
Skybridge Americas

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