Customer-Centric Value Creation with a Jobs-To-Be-Done Mindset

Customer-centric mindset

The core idea of nearly every company is to create value — value for their customers and for the company itself. It is pretty obvious that when you offer something that makes sense to customers, it also makes sense to you(r company). People will buy your offering to get their tasks done or to overcome their challenges and pain points with your solution. This mindset can help align the organization and the responsible people with where the potential value is and how it can be created.

The Customer-Centric Value Creation (CCVC) Framework (low res). Follow this article for explanation.

Information overload

The problem is rarely a lack of knowledge. There is nearly no company that has not enough information. Think about product ideas, feature requests, feedback, problems, bugs, data and statistics on usage and user behavior. And the backlog grows faster than you can work on the items. That’s loads of information.

The challenge is mostly too much information. (Own illustration: Wolfram Nagel / TeamViewer)

Understand your customers

Flippers aren’t always about swimming

Sara Conklin is a UX and Product Designer. Once, her daughter told her, “Mom, I want a pair of flippers for my birthday. But I am not actually into flippers.” Sounds weird. Sara did some “research” and talked with her daughter. And she found out that the young girl is into “being a mermaid”. 🧜‍♀️ That’s a great example that flippers aren’t always about (improving at) swimming and winning the next Olympic gold medal. Young girls utilize (or “hire”) flippers to feel like a mermaid.

Flippers aren’t always about swimming. You can also use them to feel like a mermaid. (Photos by Sonnie Hiles and Emily Goodhart)

The hole is not the goal

There is a famous quote from Theodore Levitt (1925–2006), former professor at Harvard Business School:

A drill is not necessarily needed to hang a picture on the wall. (Photo by Manja Vitolic, via Unsplash)

Jobs are stable over time

If you are a music enthusiast and like listening to music, it does not matter in which time period you lived: the job is still the same, but how you get it done changed. 50 years ago, you used LPs, later cassettes, CDs or an MP3 player. Now you probably stream your favorite music via an online service. Technology can change, but the subjective importance remains the same.

Jobs are stable over time. Technology can change. (Source / quote from / inspired by Strategyn: The Outcome-Driven Innovation Process — Overview | Images: Record player by Bonnie Duffley, cassette tape by Nico Ilk, Compact Disc by Jamison Wieser, mp3 by Adrien Coquet, streaming music by Scott Lewis / all from the Noun Project)
Needs evaluation by asking for importance and satisfaction on a specific need. (Source / inspired by: Ulwick, A. (2002), Harvard Business Review and Turn Customer Input into Innovation)
Needs evaluation diagram. (Own illustration; source / inspired by Strategyn: The Outcome-Driven Innovation Process — Overview and Quantify your customers unmet needs)

Build a bridge or cross the river?

Imagine you are standing in front of a river with a bunch of people. You can tell them “Let’s build a bridge”. So, everyone will start building a bridge. But what kind of bridge? There might be different ideas and opinions on what the right bridge will be. Instead, you can tell the group that you all need to get across the river — as this is probably your overall goal, not building a bridge. Then you ask for possible solutions. It could be building a raft, or finding a narrower point of the river. Or you have a super swimmer in your group that helps get everyone across the river.

There is not (never) only one solution to a problem, need or “job to be done”. Initially it is about (to understand) the job (e.g. cross the river), and not to talk about the solution (bridge, boat, swim, etc.) too early. (Photos by Dex Ochoa and Muradi)

Collaboration

This has a lot to do with collaboration. To discuss possible solutions to a topic, everyone needs to understand the users and their needs. If you want to solve problems together and to have UX-related and user-focused discussions at eye level, everyone in the team needs to have a basic customer-centric mindset.

True customer centricity means putting the user at the center of every product decision.

Value Creation

When we identify (the relevant) customer needs, we are able to solve the right problems and pain points. When we simplify the usage, we can increase productivity, and also decrease training and support costs. We can even avoid building unnecessary features or products, which in the end reduces development time and costs, as well as maintenance costs. In the end it is about saving time, resources, and money to increase customer satisfaction and also to increase sales and revenue for our company.

Data-informed decisions

Whenever possible we try to avoid opinion discussions and want to make decisions based on facts. Usage data from the product, and feedback from customers, help us to make more reliable decisions. Quantitative usage data tell us what users do. Qualitative data and close interaction with the users help us to understand why they behave in a specific way. Combined together, these shall provide us with enough data to make sustainable, valuable decisions.

User Focus Program

Together with an internet agency we developed a tool and a user research database, the TeamViewer User Focus Program (UFP), to closely interact with our customers. We incorporated our personas and persona-related user insights to work on and solve the most relevant and most underserved user needs and to increase the value of our product offering.

Personas

We use definitions similar to proto-personas. The four main areas describe (1) general information, (2) some user facts (such as IT skill or product familiarity), (3) behavior and usage related to the respective use case or job to be done, and (4) needs and goals (including frustrations, problems, pain points, and expectations).

Our personas cover and describe four relevant areas: General description, facts about the user, behavior and usage, and needs and goals.
The persona template in detail. A rough description and some traits about the user. We provide information about usage, and summarize Jobs To Be Done, and pain points.
Filter selection helps to find specific persona-related UFP participants. (Screenshot “TeamViewer User Focus Program”)

Persona-related participants

Participants in the User Focus Program (UFP) provide us with the same traits as we defined with our personas. We can select real existing persona-related customers, or representative prototypical users from our UFP database to evaluate needs and ideas. We can involve these UFP members in surveys and research sessions. That’s how we can gather feedback from “real user” representatives for our personas.

Jobs To Be Done and the UFP

We use the UFP application very often to conduct research with users in the JTBD context, both for qualitative research and quantitative evaluation. From qualitative research we extract needs in a specific usage context (or related to a main job, e.g. “remote control” or “IT administration”). We organize and structure the needs in a job map. This helps us to get a first high level overview of the job and to also communicate and discuss the research results with the responsible teams.

This is how a job map can look like when we extracted, phrased, and clustered needs for a specific main job. The Map is based on a JTBD template in Mural.
JTBD survey: List view. It makes sense to care about the more relevant needs (higher score) first. (Screenshot “TeamViewer User Focus Program”)
JTBD survey: The Map View shows the distribution of needs on an “importance-satisfaction” diagram. (Not only) The dots in the bottom right area are pretty interesting. (Screenshot “TeamViewer User Focus Program”)

Customer-Centric Value Creation

Users have needs (or jobs or goals or problems). The concrete term does not matter on a higher level. I recommend to rather use the term (even if not 100% correct) that is understood best from the ones you talk to.

The framework in a nutshell

First, we check and define the initial need, requirement, vision, goals, scope (all based on the overall strategy). Then we define the main user(s) and their main job. Next is to understand, prioritize and describe respective and most relevant user needs. A summary of this research phase (which we often provide in the form of various job stories) is the base to explore, design, and develop a solution until it is released and (hopefully) creates value for everyone.

The Customer-Centric Value Creation (CCVC) Framework consists of five main stages for product development from initiation to delivery.

The CCVC Framework in high res

The more detailed description of the CCVC Framework incorporates thoughts from other frameworks like the Double Diamond, Design Thinking, or the IBM company Aperto.

The CCVC Canvas

The Canvas is based on the Customer-Centric Value Creation Framework. 📌 It is important to define and clarify some basic information like overall vision, goals, requirements and scope, and then also define and align on the Main Job and User. That is the base to start with a project and understand the users and their needs.

The CCVC Canvas serves as a communication tool and to align the team and stakeholders on a topic or project.

Summary

Taking care of the customer’s Jobs To Be Done supports and fosters user-centered design, which in turn supports customer-centric value creation. And that is what we want and the base to do the right things right. Together.

5 tips on how to create value

Finally. I promised to give you five tips. 💡 You probably already have them in mind. Here they are:

  1. Establish a customer-centric mindset.
  2. Generate and utilize customer-centric data.
  3. Understand your (most relevant) users and prioritize their needs.
  4. Collaborate and have UX-related discussions at eye-level to find solutions to these needs.
  5. Develop and materialize the solutions and create value for customers and the company.

About the author

Wolfram Nagel is a Senior UX Designer at TeamViewer. He is responsible for conception and design in close collaboration with product owners, product managers, front-end and back-end developers.

Wolfram Nagel (Senior UX Designer)

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Wolfram Nagel

Wolfram Nagel

494 Followers

UX Designer (@TeamViewer), UI Architect, JTBD Practitioner, Author of “Multiscreen UX Design”, Initiator of the “Design Methods Finder”. I love my 👪 and ⚽️🚵📸