Fix bad things right now

ligtning striking at nighttime

How often we look at how we can make the good even better, but we do not fix the bad immediately. If the basics of an experience are not there, introducing a pleasant surprise goes unnoticed since people still wonder why the basic things do not work.

Basics, satisfier, delighter

A simple model to look at what you should focus on is the Kano model, a theory developed by Professor Noriaki Kano in the 1980s for product development and customer satisfaction.

Basic features are the fundamental requirements for a product or experience to be considered acceptable. For example, if you go to a restaurant, you expect the food to be cooked properly and served at an appropriate temperature. If those basic requirements are not met, it doesn’t matter how fancy the decor or how friendly the service is. You’ll likely have a negative experience.

Satisfier features are the ones that customers expect to see and differentiate the product or experience from competitors. For example, if you go to a luxury hotel, you wish high-quality bedding and luxurious amenities. These are not necessarily requirements, but they contribute to your overall satisfaction with the experience.

Delighter features are surprises that exceed customers’ expectations. For example, if you go to a hotel and find a complimentary bottle of wine in your room, it’s a nice touch that makes you feel unique and appreciated.

Fix the foundation

When fixing bad things, the focus should be on the basic features. If those requirements are not met, customers will be unhappy, and any satisfier or delighter features will go unnoticed. So, it’s crucial to prioritize fixing the basics before introducing new features.

Existing models are extraordinarily persistent in the face of ineffectiveness and that is because our use of models to organize our thinking and action is so automatic.

Roger Martin

The Kano model has some limitations. It does not fully capture customers’ changing preferences or market dynamics. Concentrating only on fundamental features could stifle innovation and overlook emerging needs and wants. Moreover, the model assumes that customers evaluate components rationally and objectively, disregarding the emotional and subjective aspects of satisfaction. It is crucial to acknowledge these limitations and incorporate other approaches alongside the Kano model to comprehend customer preferences and enhance product development strategies fully. One model, as with almost everything, doesn’t fit all.

Fixing the foundation also applies to you as an individual. If you want to improve your skills or life, fix the basics. For example, if you want to improve your productivity, start by developing a consistent routine and managing your time effectively. If you want to improve your health, start by getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and exercising regularly.

By fixing the basics first, you can create a solid foundation for further improvements and ensure that your customers or personal development are satisfied. However, do not get too hung up on a single model or approach. There is more to change than executing a checklist.

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