What do your customers really want? What is their Job to be Done?

In Customer Experience it is essential to know what your customers really want. How else can you be sure you can meet or even exceed their expectations? In order to be sure, you need t o clearly define what your customers are trying to achieve; in other words: what is their job to be done when they interact with your company?

Why do customers buy a product or service? They want to hire you or use your product to get a job done! A well-known example is that a person buys a drill not because they want a drill, but because they are looking for a solution to get their job done: to get a hole in a wall to put up a painting!
Another example is that people aren’t looking to buy navigation apps, but need to get to their destination on time and the easiest solution to the task at hand, is a map or car radio or an app. Consider even listening to music to feel good! I’ve have had this “job” my entire life and yet I’ve used different solutions to get this job done over the years, from radio to vinyl records to CDs to iPods to now streaming music.

These examples tell us the 5 key elements of jobs to be done:

  1. They tell you what your customer really wants to achieve
    And to achieve this, they need to hire a product or service to get their job done
  2. These Jobs remain stable over time
    They are mostly core needs that don’t change that quickly
  3. Jobs are independent of the solution
    A job is never a product or solution!
    And as soon as a better solution comes in the market, then this solution takes over from the previous solution to get the job done
  4. Jobs often fix a problem or solve a challenge
    It helps to think of your customer’s frustrations to find out what problem or challenges they try to solve to think about jobs to be done
  5. Jobs can be different in scope
    – Jobs can be small or big; a small job could be that you want to pass some time during your lunch break (and to get that job done you might be reading this blog); a big job could be that you are looking for a career switch to Customer Experience (and to get that job done you might be reading this blog) > same solution for different jobs
    – Jobs can be functional or emotional: a functional job could be that you want to drive safely and fast from A to B (and to get that job done you might buy a Tesla); two emotional jobs could be that you want to impress your friends, or maybe contribute to a greener planet (and to get those jobs done you might buy a Tesla) > again, the same solution for different jobs

Only companies that define their markets in jobs to be done, will survive! If you define your market in products, then you are working with a moving target. This will lead to failure. For examples of failures think of Blackberry who was in the markets of keyboard mobile devices, and Kodak who was in the market or film. These were not jobs to be done. Tech giants like Apple and Facebook knew the real jobs to be done: connect to other people and sharing memories > they came with the right solutions to meet those jobs.

We hope this clarifies and makes you think about jobs to be done instead of products. In a next blog we will come up with more examples and provide an easy template that helps you define your own jobs to be done! So…  if your job to be done is to clearly define what your customers really want, then our next blog might be the solution you are looking for. Stay tuned!