Unlocking Customer Requirements with a CTQ Tree

  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • Unlocking Customer Requirements with a CTQ Tree

Organizations often use tools like the CTQ (Critical to Quality) tree to pursue excellence in customer satisfaction. CTQ trees enable businesses to identify and prioritize customer requirements, translating them into measurable metrics. In this post, we will explore the components of a CTQ tree—Needs, Drivers, and Requirements—and showcase their application in improving patient care at a doctor's clinic using a practical example.

CTQ Tree Components:

1. Needs:

At the core of the CTQ tree lies the needs of the customers. For our doctor's clinic, the primary need is to provide good patient care. This encompasses several aspects, including short waiting times, accurate diagnosis, and effective communication.

2. Drivers:

The drivers connect the needs with the requirements. In this case, the drivers are waiting time, diagnosis accuracy, and communication effectiveness. Each driver plays a crucial role in fulfilling the customer's need for good patient care.

3. Requirements:

The requirements are specific and measurable targets derived from the drivers. They provide the means to assess performance and progress. Let's dive into the conditions corresponding to each driver:

a) Waiting Time:

  • The average waiting time during appointment booking calls should be less than 2 minutes.
  • Maximum wait time in the clinic should be within 30 minutes.
  • The percentage of patients waiting for more than 20 minutes should be less than 10%.

b) Diagnosis Accuracy:

  • Diagnostic accuracy should be at least 95%, determined by sensitivity and specificity rates.
  • Establish an internal quality control process to monitor accuracy rates and take corrective actions.
  • Conduct regular proficiency testing for medical professionals involved in the diagnosis.

c) Communication Effectiveness:

    • Maintain a patient satisfaction rating of at least 4.5 out of 5 for communication effectiveness.
    • Ensure appointment reminders or rescheduling requests receive a response within 24 hours.
    • Offer language interpretation services with qualified interpreters for non-native speakers.

Developing a CTQ Tree: Steps with the Doctor's Clinic Example

Step 1: Identify Customer Needs:

  • Engage with patients and solicit their expectations regarding the doctor's clinic experience.
  • Identify and define the critical needs that drive patient satisfaction, such as short waiting times, accurate diagnosis, and effective communication.

Step 2: Determine Drivers:

  • Analyze the factors that influence and impact the identified customer needs.
  • Categorize the drivers related to the doctor's clinic: waiting time, diagnosis accuracy, and communication effectiveness.

Step 3: Establish Requirements:

  • Based on each driver, define specific, measurable requirements that enable the clinic to fulfill customer needs.
  • Set realistic and challenging targets for each requirement to guide performance improvements.

Step 4: Construct the CTQ Tree:

  • Visualize the CTQ tree, ensuring the needs are at the top, followed by the drivers and associated requirements.
  • Create clear connections between the drivers and requirements, highlighting the cause-and-effect relationship.

Step 5: Validate and Refine:

  • Share the CTQ tree with relevant stakeholders, including patients, clinic staff, and management.
  • Seek feedback and incorporate valuable insights to refine the CTQ tree and ensure alignment with customer expectations.

Step 6: Implement and Monitor:

  • Establish appropriate mechanisms to measure and monitor progress toward meeting the defined requirements.
  • Regularly track performance against the requirements, identify areas for improvement, and take decisive actions to enhance patient care.


CTQ trees offer a structured approach to uncover customer requirements and drive continuous improvement. A doctor's clinic can enhance patient care and satisfaction by understanding customer needs, determining key drivers, and defining measurable requirements.

Similar Posts:

January 13, 2022

Pre-Control Charts

December 20, 2022

Power of a Statistical Test

April 5, 2022

How To Get Creative With Customer Loyalty Strategies

49 Courses on SALE!