Kano Questioning Approach

Kano Questioning Approach

The Kano questioning approach is a proven technique for determining customer requirements while dispelling popular organizational myths or biases around customer preferences.

Each question has a functional version that asks how the customer feels if a service element is present, and a dysfunctional version that asks how the customer feels if a service element is not present. The pairing of the two responses determines if this is a service element the customer values and/or:

  • Deems necessary and “must have”
  • Views as unexpected but “attractive,” potentially differentiating
  • Prefers to have but recognizes that it may or may not occur, “performance driven”
  • Is indifferent, does not consider this service element as defined relevant

While the two-pronged functional/dysfunctional approach for each Kano question may seem redundant, the purpose is to assess the customer’s reaction to the presence or absence of a service element. The response scale for both the functional and dysfunctional versions of the Kano questions is always:

  • I like it that way
  • It must be that way
  • I am neutral
  • I can live with it that way
  • I dislike it that way

By gauging how a customer feels about the absence and or presence of a service element we can then determine its value. The self-rated importance scale then provides us with context driven relevance as determined by the customer.