Business Insider

To succeed in business, ask: What must be, when is more better, and how can I delight

Raymond Davis: Small Business
Raymond Davis: Small Business

Past success doesn’t guarantee future success. Astute owners know that customer satisfaction is the most important way to sustain and grow a business. The Kano model provides a succinct approach to improving your customer relationships.

The model is a method for assessing satisfaction based on the presence or absence of a particular characteristic. Developed by professor Noriaki Kano, it requires answering three questions for a business to become successful.

The first is: What fundamental quality or qualities must be present for the enterprise to exist? The second: What could I offer more of to make what I offer better for the customer? The third: What “delighters” can I offer customers that will give me a competitive advantage?

Here is how you might answer those questions for a restaurant:

1. What must be in place for this business to operate?

▪  It needs a place of business and a business license.

▪  It needs food, plates, silverware, tables and a menu.

▪  It needs servers and a cook.

▪  It needs customers.

2. What can this restaurant do to fill the “more is better” requirement?

▪  It can have a large variety of offerings.

▪  It can offer quick and efficient service.

▪  It can provide good food at a reasonable price.

▪  It can offer take-out or delivery capabilities.

3. What might this restaurant offer that could be considered a “‘delighter” by a customer?

▪  Ambiance with a great location and spectacular view. (Think Barbacoa.)

▪  A high Michelin rating and a Le Cordon Bleu trained chef noted for an exquisite cuisine.

▪  An owner/manager who remembers you and directs you to the best seat in the house.

▪  A free desert or complimentary drink for being a loyal customer.

▪  Impeccable service.

There are many ways to draw customers to your business, but the most important way to keep them is to provide “delighters,” which they see as an added benefit. You’re only limited by your imagination. Google the Kano Model for more.

Raymond Davis is SCORE’s Idaho District director., 208- 334-1696. This column appears in the April 19-May, 16, 2017, edition of the Idaho Statesman’s Business Insider magazine.