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Ask Questions To Identify the Jobs To Be Done for Your Customers

Providers of products and services perform jobs that customers and clients need to do but cannot do by themselves, claims Clayton Christensen of the Harvard Business School. (Click here to see our August newsletter)

How do you identify the jobs to be done? Ideally you would observe clients or customers at work to identify these jobs. When observation is impractical, you could instead ask a series of questions to identify the jobs. Then, you could ask yourself a few questions to decide whether or not to undertake the jobs. Here are some questions we have developed.

What Are the Jobs?

To uncover the jobs your clients or customers want to have done, ask:

  • What does your department/team/company do?
  • What are the shortcomings of your present approach?
  • What are the specific jobs that need doing?
  • For whom? What triggered this need? Did a product, person, process, or agreement fail?
  • Why is this job important? How would you benefit if we were to do this job?
  • What is it worth to you to get this job done correctly?

Are These Jobs for You?

To check if the needed jobs are consistent with your company's goals and expertise, ask yourself:

  • Are we capable of helping the customer or client do the job(s)?
  • Can we execute within a reasonable time?
  • What obstacles might we encounter, and how would we overcome them?
  • What resources or assistance do we need to get the job done? Are they available?
  • Do the benefits of doing this job outweigh the risks?
  • Could we do this job profitably?

Centering questions around specific jobs or tasks to be done rather than around vague problems that need solving will give you a better sense of how to help your customers or clients.

We can help you by designing and posing questions that will help you identify specific jobs to be done for your customers and clients.

Call today to discuss it in more detail: 508-877-1938.

Copyright 9/12 Ruth Winett. All rights reserved.

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