The event you didn't know you didn't want to attend

A couple of weeks ago, we hosted a lunch session on an often used theory in service design called "jobs-to-be-done". Sarie Robijt, Service Designer at The Reference, gave an in-depth talk and started off big, stating to her audience that:

You do not want to attend this event

People don't want to use your product and you don't know your competition

The gist of her bold statement is that people don't want to use your product . People don't buy or use a product for the sake of using it. People "hire" products to help them achieve progress (or: a better life)

If you perceive things this way, Sarie's second bold statement comes as no surprise: "You don't know your competition".

It makes total sense. Looking at things from the inside-out, one might think to be competing with lookalike products or services. But from a customer centric perspective, everything helping customers to achieve their desired progress, can be considered as competition.

sarie service design

Make things people want

We're transitioning into an age where it is no longer lucrative to make people want things. Bombarding people with marketing messages is a dead-end strategy. Real success come from creating things people want. Carefully asking people why they do the things they do is the baseline for creating successful products and services. Indeed, as opposed to observing what people do, Sarie advises true innovators to go a step further and study the desired progress instead.

The jobs-to-be-done framework helps you in understanding the progress people are looking for and crafting products or services that are better suited to realise that progress. However, designing for that progress is not that easy. There are forces pushing customers towards your solution (push, pull) but also forces hindering them from using your solution (habits, anxiety). 

Study all these, build a "job mapping" and you will finally acquire the link you were missing in between your persona's and customer journeys, is what Sarie could convince us all of right before the break.

sarie service design presentation

Get cracking

After lunch, Sarie proceeded with 22 tactics to immediately apply the principles outlined above. After the session people were sharing that it indeed makes perfect sense to start doing things the way Sarie had presented them -. The advantages were obvious to all, being it in B2B or B2C industries.

Yet everyone also agreed that it's hard to decide how and where to get started. Not necessarily since jobs-to-be-done is a difficult framework, yet because not many companies are organised in a very customer-centric way. (Re)building products and services to truly answer a customer's desire to progress, implies crossing a lot of interdepartmental boundaries (IT, legal, marketing, sales, production, ...). But let that be our challenge to tackle.

sarie service design framework

Hiring this lunch appeared to be a great solution to "increase my knowledge on customer-centric innovation". Do you or some of your team member also have this job? Come talk to us.

Because we are ready to come to you and share this talk. We are ready to work with you to find the wins. We are ready to create and implement the roadmap towards a truly customer-centric organisation.


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