Any business has a lot to gain even from a short round of direct customer research.
That’s right, any business.
There are no exceptions. Whether a solopreneur or a giant corporation, a business that regularly talks to its customers gains an advantage over those that don’t.
It could be as little as a couple of interviews or one short survey that gives you a breakthrough.
It could also be a hundred interviews and many surveys. Still, each one you do will get you closer to understanding why your customers buy from you.
As long as you’re asking the right questions, of course.
This is where leaning onto the Jobs-to-Be-Done framework can help. At its most basic, it relies on the idea that your customers are hiring your product or service to complete a specific “job” to make progress in their lives. They are always switching to you from something else, even if this something is inaction/doing nothing.
In your customer interviews/surveys, focus on questions like:
❓ What happened in your customers’ lives that they realized they had a problem that needed solving?
❓ What pushed them towards starting to look for a solution?
❓ Which solutions did they consider?
❓ What made them choose you as the solution to evaluate?
❓ What made them sure you were the solution for them?
❓ How are their lives different now that they are your customer?
Focusing on this journey of circumstances and decisions, you will be able to glimpse a more complete picture of how your customers became your customers.
Asking what was going on in their lives before they found you gives you an understanding of:
- Their problem
- What solutions they used to solve it (again, no solution counts as well)
- The trigger that pushed them past their breaking point
Once you know that, you can dig into the context of how they evaluated potential solutions, including yours.
- What made them choose you in the end?
- How did it literally change their life?
Because it did, even in a small way.
The combination of Problem + Solution + Desired Outcome is the Jobs to Be Done approach.
P.S. Want a little help with knowing exactly what questions to ask? “Start Talking to Your Customers” worksheets have the answers.