2 min read

What are customer requirements?

What are customer requirements?

Do you remember the comedy film What Women Want, starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt? Many organisations feel like customer requirements are similar in the sense that you need to be struck by an electric shock to develop the superpower of hearing your customers’ thoughts. The truth is, customer requirements aren’t difficult to understand; they are just different from business requirements.

Kano model

When analysing customer requirements, it can get tricky due to each individual wanting something different from the next. This is why it is important to get back to basics. According to the Kano model, which was developed by Professor Noriaki Kano in the 1980s, there are three levels of customer requirements:

  • Must haves.These are the expected customer requirements. When fulfilled, the customer will not react, but if unfulfilled, the customer will be left dissatisfied. A good example of this is clean glasses and plates at a restaurant.
  • These are specified customer requirements and influence overall satisfaction. For example, most customers require Wi-Fi access at a coffee shop nowadays.
  • This level is about going the extra mile and wowing the customer with the unexpected. When unfulfilled, a customer will not be dissatisfied, but when fulfilled, it increases the customer satisfaction drastically. An example of this is free cake at a coffee shop.

While the Kano model is a good indication of how to measure customer requirements, it is necessary to note that expectations change over time. For example, Wi-Fi in a coffee shop was a delighter a few years ago, while now it is a satisfier. In a few years’ time, it could end up becoming a mainstay much like clean crockery.

Benefits of understanding customer requirements

The biggest benefit of understanding customer requirements is that it helps you answer the three Ws:

  • Whothey are?
  • Whatthey buy?
  • Whythey buy it?

In doing so, you will be able to see if your organisation is moving in the right direction or needs to refine its approach. This will create a synergy between the customer and the organisation, as both parties will be on the same page about the expected customer requirements.

How to measure customer requirements

We’ve probably mentioned this a million times, and it is that simple: listen to the voice of the customer. Through the use of surveys, such as Eyerys, it is possible to gauge and analyse trends and customer requirements. If you’d like to speak to us about solutions that best suits your organisation, please contact us for further information.

The basics of customer requirements

Here are a couple of essentials that are at the top of every customer’s requirements list:

  • Rudeness is a major turn-off and adds to customer dissatisfaction.
  • Customers want to feel like you care and understand their problems.
  • Customers want to feel as if they have an impact on how things turn out.
  • There is a necessity to present alternative options to the customer.
  • Customers need to be educated and informed about products, services and the organisation.
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