October 24, 2008

Quality, Customer Satisfaction etc.

In recent years, quality has became more and more important. Actually, precisely speaking, quality awareness has been promoted, quality itself is always important. People became more deeply recognize quality and business achievements. I read a typical definition about quality: "Quality is defined by the customer. The customer wants products and services that throughout their life meet their needs and expectations at a cost that represents value." Paul also talked a lot about quality and customers on last Friday's lecture. He has given us a very impressive lecture about quality. I still remember the customer satisfaction model that he has talked in the lecture. The model is not difficult, but it is interesting to me. I did a bit research about this model.

The customer satisfaction model is also called Kano model as it is developed by Professor Noriaki Kano in the 80's. This model is a quality management and marketing technique that can be used for measuring customer's happiness. It has 6 categories of quality attributes, from which the first three actually influence customer satisfaction:

1.      Basic Factors. The minimum requirements which will cause dissatisfaction if they are not fulfilled, but do not cause customer satisfaction if they are fulfilled or exceeded. The customer regards these as prerequisites and takes these for granted. Basic factors establish a market entry threshold.

2.      Excitement Factors. The factors that increase customer satisfaction if delivered but do not cause dissatisfaction if they are not delivered. These factors surprise the customer and generate delight. Using these factors, a company can really distinguish itself from its competitors in a positive way.

3.      Performance Factors. The factors that cause satisfaction if the performance is high, and they cause dissatisfaction if the performance is low. Here, the attribute performance-overall satisfaction is linear and symmetric. Typically these factors are directly connected to customers' explicit needs and desires and a company should try to be competitive here.


(I need to go now, will come back later. Wish everyone has a very good weekend! ^__^ )

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