Why run jobs to be done surveys?
In order to dive deeper into why jobs to be done surveys are just so effective, take this case study for example. Clayton Christensen himself used the example of a fast-food restaurant wanting to increase their milkshake sales to make a case for this framework.
In order to understand the ‘job’ that the milkshake was being ‘hired’ to do for customers, Christensen’s researchers performed customer interviews at the fast-food restaurant as people purchased their milkshakes. The results that the JTBD interviews yielded turned out to be surprising: 40% of the milkshake buyers were commuters, grabbing a shake to-go first thing in the morning. Clayton Christensen explained the milkshake’s ‘job’ and the overall customer experience as follows:
“Most of them, it turned out, bought [the milkshake] to do a similar job,” he wrote. “They faced a long, boring commute and needed something to keep that extra hand busy and make the commute more interesting. They weren’t yet hungry, but knew that they’d be hungry by 10 a.m.; they wanted to consume something now that would stave off hunger until noon. And they faced constraints: They were in a hurry, wearing work clothes, and had (at most) one free hand.”
The takeaways from this jobs to be done case study are two-fold:
The milkshake’s value proposition only became clear because of the JTBD exercise, which is directly linked to improving sales.
Whether you work for a startup or a large, well-established business, outcome-driven innovation isn’t possible unless you’re able to isolate the ‘job’ that your new feature, product, or service is satisfying for your customers.