How to create better customer experience using JTBD

The JTBD application for product development and product management is still in its early stages. The Jobs-to-Be-Done (JTBD) theory has been around for decades. The JTBD framework has undergone so many changes that product managers are unsure how to use it effectively. This article will explain what JTBD is and how you can use it to create better products that improve the lives of your customers.

When we buy a product, we are essentially “hiring” something to do a job, Christensen explains. “If it performs well, we will use it again while facing a similar task. And if the product fails miserably, we’ll “fire” it and hire someone else to solve the problem”.

Jobs theory states that innovation aims to help customers get jobs done better, faster, and cheaper. Customers do not simply buy products or services; they incorporate them into their lives to advance and finish a “job.”

What is JTBD?

Jobs to be Done focuses on clearly understanding the customer’s underserved pain points. This alone is a vast improvement over alternative approaches because it does not rely on chance and also avoids wasting time and money on irrelevant or suboptimal alternatives.

Customer-centric operations almost always mean the same thing: knowing and characterizing one’s customers as thoroughly as possible to deduce their (consumer) behavior and needs from their characteristics.

The relatively new “jobs to be done” (JTBD) principle represents an alternative approach for gaining more direct access to your customers.

Why use JTBD?

The focus on the job-to-be-done approach differs from the approach that many businesses take to understanding their customers and delivering products and services.

The traditional and still widely used approach is to view customers through the lenses of demographics, segments, market economics, personal attributes, and product attributes.

The application of this conventional lens frequently entails gathering some data points (usually customer attributes) that are correlated to provide an understanding of the customer. For example, suppose you conduct research for a milkshake shop and discover that your customers are mostly male, employed, own a car, and use the drive-through in the morning to get a small milkshake.

In traditional customer understanding land, you would say, “Now that we understand our customers, we can develop great products and improvements for them.” These related attributes that you purchased together give you the false impression that you can now reason about your customers’ behavior towards your product. But you don’t know what they want to do, what their behavior is, or why they act the way they do.

This is where Jobs-to-Be-Done enters the picture. JTBD focuses on a person’s needs and behavior. It also discusses why someone does something. Only after you understand the need, why they have it, and why they want to solve it. Can you begin to think creatively and effectively about how you can help them?

Before going to create a better customer experience, let’s understand the seven steps to creating a structure that captures the needs users have and helps companies identify opportunities for innovation. The steps are as follows:

  • Customers outline their goals and plan their resources during the define stage. Businesses, on the other hand, can kickstart innovation by simplifying planning.
  • The location stage follows, during which customers gather the information required to complete the job. At this point, businesses ensure that all necessary inputs are easily accessible.
  • Customers set up the environment for the job during the preparation stage. Meanwhile, businesses offer guides on how to handle this with minimal effort.
  • Customers confirm that they are ready to execute the job during the confirmation stage. The product developer’s job is to provide the information required to confirm readiness.
  • The execution stage comes next. Companies are now working to avoid any delays or hiccups that may occur while customers complete their tasks.
  • The Monitor stage entails analyzing the results on the customer side. Companies innovate by determining which aspects could improve future execution.
  • Customers finish the job and prepare to start a new one with better execution during the Conclude stage.

Implementing these seven steps for each job that customers want to do may appear time-consuming. However, the results can provide a lot of satisfaction to businesses.

Who is your customer?

A company must first define all of its customers before it can define all of their needs. While a B2C company might find this to be an easy task, many B2-B companies find it difficult. We have done extensive research for our consulting work and have concluded that there are three general categories in which a company’s clients can be placed.

A job executor is a persona using the product to complete the primary functional task.

Product lifecycle support teams: these are the teams of individuals who support the product throughout its life cycle. This includes those who handle the product’s installation, transportation, maintenance, upkeep, upgrading, or disposal. They carry out tasks involving the supply chain.

The buyer is the party who must make the purchasing decision.

5 major ways to improve customer experience.

Recognize solution instruments

Customers use workarounds because current products lack functionality and customer preferences or need change. These can provide valuable insights into the new features and innovations needed to improve performance.

Validation and testing

Once the “Jobs to be Done” is identified, it is critical to put the concept to the test with customers and gauge their commitment to the solution. Prototyping is a powerful tool for validating critical leap-of-faith assumptions. This not only increases the chances of success but also aids in developing a closer relationship with customers, which is necessary for understanding future ‘Jobs to be Done.’

Understanding the jobs

Understanding the jobs requires first understanding the current products that the customer uses to get the job done, as well as the pain points and value potential. Interactions with customers regularly help to develop a deeper understanding of their environment and needs, jobs under or over-served by current products, and how products must evolve. Qualitative interviews are an effective method for understanding the customer’s job requirements.

Shifting from a product-centric

A customer-centric mindset is what customer centricity entails. The primary focus should be on the jobs that customers must perform, the emotional and social aspects, and how these are changing in response to changing customer preferences and needs, rather than on the characteristics that products must have to be successful.

Deliver quickly

Once your approach has been validated, get the product to market as soon as possible. In today’s fast-paced and fiercely competitive world, agile product development methodology has evolved and is now required.

Some successful “Job To Be Done” theory examples

Milkshake promotion

To discuss JTBD without mentioning this example is closely related to discussing spy movies without mentioning James Bond. The most famous JTBD case study was written by Clay Christensen, the father of JTBD theory. It looks into why morning commuters purchase milkshakes from fast food restaurants.

Pipedrive reveals surprising CRM objectives.

In a famous Everyone Hates Marketing podcast, Alan Klement discusses how JTBD sheds new light on what people want a CRM tool to do for them.

Three major tasks were identified: to organize their work; improve their sales; and scale their team. The absence of any mention of the customer is intriguing.

You have all of your songs in your pocket

Another famous example frequently cited in MBA marketing texts is Apple’s “1,000 songs in your pocket” tagline when it released the first iPod. Marketers now claim this is clever because it is a benefit that anyone can understand, as opposed to stating that it has 5MB of storage, which meant nothing in 2001.

One job description is to organize and manage personal music. Listening to music is an important functional aspect of this job. A related emotional/personal job is to organize and manage music pleasingly; a related emotional/social job is to share songs with friends. Related jobs could include downloading songs from the Internet, creating playlists, and removing unwanted songs.

What else to know?

While Ford discovered a job to be done, it overlooked the context. Customers may have habits that they are unwilling to change.

People who do not own cars do not buy them in groups. As a result, to see any results, Ford would have needed to change his mindset. Furthermore, it is nearly impossible for six people to share a single car on weekends or holidays. Texas’ low leasing rates should have been another red flag. Another barrier to adoption was that sales agents were not trained to sell to groups.

While the JTBD framework is rigorous, relying on it without considering the context can harm the company more than help it. As Ford’s example demonstrates, implementing it without considering the big picture can have unexpected results.


Jobs to be done is a new theory or methodology that asks customers about higher-level tasks (jobs) rather than their characteristics.

As a result, a fresh perspective on the product, the user, and the competition emerges. The approach works well when combined with standard methods such as design thinking.

It expresses a customer’s perception of the underlying needs or desires that a product or service can meet. It does more than just help you learn more about your customers. It will also provide interesting and surprising information about your company and its products and services. These may even contradict your previously held beliefs.

Many product/development teams have never met a customer, experienced their environment, or had the opportunity to observe how a product is used. Understanding the “jobs to be done can help us gain better insights into changing customer needs and the product improvements/innovation required to improve customer experience. To do so, we must change our approach to be more customer-centric and begin building stronger relationships with our customers.

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