KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS’ “JOBS TO BE DONE”

@Harvard Business Review by Clayton Christensen, Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon, & David Duncan
10 Minute Read

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DO YOU REALLY KNOW THE CUSTOMER? (EXCERPTS)

“After decades of watching great companies fail, we’ve come to the conclusion that the focus on correlation—and on knowing more and more about customers—is taking firms in the wrong direction. What they really need to home in on is the progress that the customer is trying to make in a given circumstance—what the customer hopes to accomplish. This is what we’ve come to call the job to be done.”

“Many organizations have unwittingly designed innovation processes that produce inconsistent and disappointing outcomes. They spend time and money compiling data-rich models that make them masters of description but failures at prediction. But firms don’t have to continue down that path. Innovation can be far more predictable—and far more profitable—if you start by identifying jobs that customers are struggling to get done. Without that lens, you’re doomed to hit-or-miss innovation. With it, you can leave relying on luck to your competitors.”



WE TOLD YOU SO

The approaches companies take to knowing their customers fall flat in truly establishing strong customer centricity – the misguided practice of using data-based correlations to predict what customers want and need is not knowing the customer. These esteemed members of the Harvard faculty echo what we at Ignite have been saying: knowing the customer entails knowing what they need to get accomplished, or their jobs to be done. Our Customer Centricity Growth Stream (CHI/X) emphasizes that understanding customers on a more personal and empathetic level by knowing the what, the how, and the why of their needs, is the driving force behind stronger customer relationships.