Deconstructing a Jobs to be Done switch interview

It’s fascinating to hear about the decision making process of customers when they decide to buy a product. Its more interesting still to think about the reasons they may be leaving another product for this to happen. What may on the surface seem perfectly rationale ends up being haphazard, circumstantial, and even highly emotional.

Design research methods promise to uncover this human story and outlay the behaviour, needs and goals of customers and/or users of a application. What the Jobs to be Done approach adds is a focus on identifying valuable features from the customer’s perspective and contextualizing them against the forces of habit and anxiety that may cause the inertia behind not switching to a new product. Its a compelling model, so I am so pleased that my former colleague and friend Christian LaFrance has started a Sydney Jobs to be Done meetup.

It was a great turn out for the third event this week hosted by Brain Mates in the centre of the city. Thank you Adrienne for the perfect setting, and for the wine and food.

Christian played back the switch interview from the second meetup. He led the interviewee to unwind his experience from the point of purchase right to the beginning explaining small and broad details of his story. As we listened we modeled notes along a journey framework and analysed them in groups with the Jobs to be Done four forces model.

I won’t go into the detail of the approach here. There are much better resources online for that (check out JTBD online, JTBD radio, and Christian’s Flipboard collection as a start). I did pick up some tips though from meetups 2 &3

  • Its important to get granular. Asking after irrelevant details is a useful technique to help people remember and visualise events.
  • Christian recommended asking questions to validate assumptions as soon as you catch yourself inferring too much.
  • The value of the model is explicitly seeing and thinking about the weight of the combined factors within the Push and Pull quadrants that have to overcome the customer’s habit and anxiety for a switch i.e. a purchase to happen.

The audio of the switch interview which is about a customer buying a mobile phone is available on the meetup page of the group. Join up while you’re there. This is a practical group so I promise you will learn something while you’re there. Thanks again Christian for a wonderful event.

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