## Prioritising customer needs: a Kano survey with over...

Prioritising customer needs: a Kano survey with over 3.000 responses

Using Kano to build evidence

While working with a health insurer on their B2C website strategy, we had to give compelling evidence to convince management about the importance of different features we had planned.

Our plans were based on qualitative interviews with customers and internal staff and management. Yet harder evidence was needed to get all noses pointing in the same direction. Some of our ideas were not conventional. We needed to convince the company's leadership that executing on these ideas would be very valuable to the insurer's customers and to the company itself.

To do so, we set up a Kano survey with 15 questions. We gauged for preferences for different kinds of information (financial, health, pharmaceutical, ...), ways of interacting with the company (chat, but also types of wizards, ...), and a few other things.

The project team was enthousiastic about doing a Kano survey. They

  • set up a mailing campaign to internal staff (> 500)
  • plastered social media with invitations to fill out the Kano survey
  • mailed the customer base with a survey invitation.

To improve response rates, a sweepstakes was added.

Suprised by unanimity. Or are we?

The campaigns were a huge success. Over 3.000 replies came in in the course of a few days.

There was very little variation between replies for each question. The analysis showed that there was also very little difference in preferences between the different segments (clients, general public, internal staff).

For only two of the fifteen questions was there a big difference between (unsurprisingly) internal staff and customers. Both had a different attitude towards the company magazine as a means of communication and the importance of company events.

Was this surprising? Not really.

We did the survey because we wanted to gather evidence for our belief that solving the underlying customer need is the right way forward. Our initial qualitative interviews helped us understand internal company objectives and the true customer context and needs.

We merged the company objectives and the customer needs into high-level value propositions such as centering services around major life moments. The more customer-centric our proposition, the higher it scored in the survey: the more its presence would satisfy the surveyees and the more its absence would dissatisfy them.

Change isn't easy but process can help

It is not easy for companies and organisations to really answer customer needs, even if the motivation is there. Procedures, ways of doing things and how companies are organized often stand in the way of customer-centricity. There's quite a bit of change required to understand, let alone act on the real customer needs.

The steps we took helped create that impetus for change. You can start thay change too by following these steps:

  • Agree on the company objectives
  • Understand the customer context through qualitative interviews
  • Merge internal objectives with customer needs and translatethem into high-level value propositions
  • Gauge customer preferences for and relative importance of these propositions with a Kano survey.