Jobs describe an important issue your customers are trying to solve in their work or in their lives. It could be the tasks they are trying to perform and complete, the problems they are trying to solve, or the needs they are trying to satisfy. The so-called “jobs-to-be-done” concept was invented and refined by two consulting companies, Innosight and Strategyn.
Types of Jobs
There are different types of jobs customers are trying to get done:
When your customers try to perform or complete a specific task or solve a specific problem they are aiming to get a functional job done.
Trying to look good or gaining power and status are social jobs. These jobs describe how a customer wants to be perceived by others.
Your customers may seek a specific feeling, such as feeling good or feeling secure. This is a social job they are trying to get done.
Besides trying to get a core job done, your customer performs ancillary jobs in different roles. These can be divided into three categories:
In this role, your customer performs jobs related to buying, such as comparing offers, deciding which products to buy, performing a purchase, or taking delivery of a product or service.
In this role, your customer performs jobs related to co-creating value with you as an organization, such as co-designing a product or solution or even creating part of the value proposition.
In this role, your customer performs jobs related to the end of the lifecycle of a value proposition. This could be, for example, how customers dispose of a product, transfer it to others, or resell it.
It is important to acknowledge that not all jobs have the same significance to your customer. Some are crucial in a customer’s work or life and some are merely trivial. Typically, the occurrence of a job may also indicate how significant it is to your customer. The consultancy Innosight highlights that a job is significant when a) the customer’s failure to satisfy the job has significant consequences b) when existing solutions don’t get the job done in a satisfying way, or b) when a large number of customers have the job or a small number of customers are willing to pay a lot of money to satisfy this job.
Customer jobs often depend on the specific context in which they are performed. The context may impose certain constraints or limitations. For example, making a call on the fly is different when you are traveling on the train or when you are driving a car.