A CTQ is a Critical to Quality product feature (or customer requirement) that is essential to customer satisfaction.

CTQ’s are very useful in helping product designers, manufacturing teams, and service providers know where to focus their efforts in designing robust products and processes.

CTQ research and identification are considered an essential element of marketing research in most companies.


Here are a few CTQ examples –

Product Level CTQ’s

  • A cordless drill must deliver 235 inch-pounds of torque to drive a full range of decking screws
  • A bathroom fan must be 95% reliable after 600 hours of continuous operation
  • The door panels in a car must align within 2mm of each other at all locations to prevent aesthetic concerns

Service CTQ Examples

  • A customer service team has learned that customers grow impatient after being on hold more than 45 seconds, so on-hold time becomes a CTQ (improving this CTQ would like be done with Lean tools instead of DMAIC)
  • A custom contractor learns that homeowners expect a thorough cleanup after the work is finished.
  • A fast food chain has found the lower and upper limits for an acceptable coffee temperature, based on a focus group study.