Dr. Noriaki Kano’s customer satisfaction model revolutionized the science of quality and gave a voice to the abstract concepts behind what draws customers to specific product offerings. The heart of Dr. Kano’s methodology was his customer survey designs and how to plot responses in a way that uncovered what customers truly care about with a degree of specificity that exposed the product features that trigger customers to choose one product or feature set over a competitive offering. Created in 2009 by Agile Coach, Sergei Dmitrev, kanosurvey.com is a free website (registration required, though) that can guide you through templates to create your own Kano surveys. While this is intended for software developers, it should work with any types of product features you wish to populate the survey with. Even if you don’t or can’t use the survey for your specific project, it can be a valuable exercise in general Kano survey design if you are just starting out with employing these methods.
Learn more about putting the power of Kano to work for you at Management Roundtable’s Kano Innovation Collaborative.
Visiting customers can be exciting, frightening, inspirational or even depressing. Every once in a while you might hit upon that one customer that criticizes you honestly, but constructively, that tells you both the whats AND the whys, and that truly represents an accurate common denominator of your product’s users. But they are typically few and far between. So being prepared to maximize the scant time you’re able to spend with ANY customers is a necessity to make the trip worthwhile.
Below is a link to an article written by Edward McQuarrie, author of the seminal book on the subject, aptly titled Customer Visits: Building a Better Market Focus.
In the article, How to Conduct Good Customer Visits, Dr. McQuarrie outlines 16 fundamental tips for how to prepare and conduct yourself. He answers questions such as:
- How many and what profile of customer should you target?
- How much of your staff and which functions should participate?
- How should you structure the visit and what type of questions should you ask?
- What are the things you should do after the visit to best capture what you’ve learned?
To download the article, click here.
Here’s an extremely simple way to stay on top of any subject that interests you: Google Alerts.
I’ve just started using Google Alerts, one of the Big G’s many small and simple tools that have great upsides. It’s a robotic digital “clipping service” that scours the Internet and sends you an email with what it has found. This is one of Google’s “less is more” services, as the presentation is basic no frills, all you do is put in your keywords and your email address and press ‘submit”. You can make minor tweaks to the frequency and if you want more or fewer results, but that’s it really. Continue reading