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You know delighting customers is key to driving word-of-mouth referrals and growing your business. What you may not know is how you can use the Jobs To Be Done theory to identify exactly how, when, and where to delight them.

What Is Jobs To Be Done?

Simply put, Jobs to be Done (JTBD) is a framework to develop an intimate understanding of your customers’ behaviors. Its six basic tenets include:

  1. People buy products and services to get a “job” done.
  2. Products that win in the marketplace help customers get a job done better and/or more cheaply.
  3. A job is stable over time, making it an attractive unit of analysis.
  4. Understanding the job provides a new avenue for understanding customer needs.
  5. A job is functional and has emotional and social elements associated with it.
  6. A job is always a process (to make progress).

The process is anchored in detailed customer interviews. Unlike a focus group, this theory takes a smaller set of recent customers and dives deep into their customer journey. (To learn more, see the resources at the bottom of the page.)

The Customer Journey Is Longer Than You Think

Part of the Jobs To Be Done process includes mapping the customer journey.

Unlike a traditional customer journey beginning with “awareness”, the JTBD goes way, way, way back to when the customer had an inkling of a problem. It often trails back years before the customer searched for a specific product or brand, and leads through several attempts to get the “job done” with other alternatives.

For example, in doing JTBD work with a wellness shoe company, we found that people try to solve their knee and back pain issues for several years or even decades. Chiropractors, fancy mattresses, scary-looking body rollers and futuristic office chairs are all part of the journey.

For many, it wasn’t until they read the book Born to Run that they realized it was their shoes that could be the cause of their chronic knee and/or back pain. This led us to recommend messaging, content, targeting and influencer ideas that we wouldn’t have otherwise considered.

The JTBD customer journey doesn’t end with the purchase or even the idea of loyalty. What the process also answers is: Is your customer still searching? Have you successfully fulfilled the “job”?

Beyond obvious customer churn, if your customers hack your product to better suit their needs, or supplement it with a competitor or alternative, the answer is likely “no”.

Delighting Your Customers

Understanding the rich layers and nuances of their journey helps you gain a better understanding of the progress your customer is trying to make. Armed with this insight, you can identify where, how, and when to delight them.

Knowing both the job and the customer journey allows you to:

  • Reduce the risk of innovation by designing a new or better product/service that fulfills the “job”
  • Provide better customer support by understanding the context around their questions, requests, or complaints
  • Improve processes that take the friction out of working with your brand
  • Provide better content and offers to keep your customers emotionally engaged with, talking about, and spending money with your brand
  • Grow your customer base through confidently targeting your marketing efforts and ad spend to attract new customers

We always ask this question: Would you rather make marketing, growth and innovation decisions based on customer data pulled from $100K worth of ad spend, or by spending 100 hours talking to your customers?

Want To Learn More?

If you want to learn more about how Jobs To Be Done can help you delight your customers and grow your business, contact us or check out the resources below:

Competing Against Luck by Clay Christensen

Our Customer Research & Brand Development Process

Jobs To Be Done: The Untapped Side of Persona Marketing

The Ultimate Guide to Customer Delight

Jen Casson

Jen Casson

Jen's experience marries art with strategy to embrace IT, data and creative craft. She loves collaboration, storytelling and supporting clients with research-based data and creativity. She is an award-winning editor for the Discovery Channel, Sundance Channel, Science Channel, Ford, Dish and others. When she’s not working, she’s enjoying life skiing, hiking and mountain biking with friends and family.
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