Back To CourseBusiness Writing: Help & Review
10 chapters | 87 lessons
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Scott has been a faculty member in higher education for over 10 years. He holds an MBA in Management, an MA in counseling, and an M.Div. in Academic Biblical Studies.
50 years ago, people diagnosed with Type I diabetes lived the remainder of their days injecting insulin up to four times daily. Many developed serious health problems because their compliance over time decreased. The longer they were non-compliant, the worse their health became.
For diabetics, being noncompliant in their 20s and 30s created problems in their 60s and 70s. In other words, years after they started playing by the rules, their neglectful behavior came back to haunt them in the form of kidney failure, wounds that would not heal, high blood pressure, and a host of other problems.
That all changed when the pharmaceutical industry and the bio-med industry teamed up to create the first insulin pump. The pharmaceutical company's job was to formulate an insulin that would work with a pump. The job of the biomedical company was to develop an easy-to-use pump that would eliminate the need for patients to be so attentive. The customer had a job as well, and in this case, it was certainly the most important one.
''In the factory, we make cosmetics. In the drugstore, we sell hope.'' This phrase is attributed to Charles Revson, founder of Revlon Cosmetics. Revson made this statement as a means of emphasizing the difference between manufacturing and selling. A customer job to be done (JTBD) is the end-to-end process a consumer goes through when they want a good or service. The customer JTBD starts when they want something that will improve their life, and it ends when they obtain or give up on obtaining the object of their desire. Revson knew that success meant not just making a cosmetic but rather selling beauty, good looks, and self-esteem.
Customer pains are all the things a customer hates about the job to be done. They are the things that make a customer let out a silent groan at the thought of having to travel a certain part of the journey in order to end up where they want to be (think commercial airlines, jury duty, or going to the post office).
Customer gains are the inverse of pains. Gains are things that make customers excited to use the product or service. Gains are the things that make a customer happy, satisfied, or positive about the process (think short wait times, no lines, lots of cashiers at checkout, etc.).
Returning to the example of the insulin pump, the best product will be the one that a customer will use, and determining what that looks like means engaging and collaborating with them on solving the problem. In a scenario like this, the customer is the exclusive provider of vital information.
To develop a great product, manufacturers must understand the customer pains (such as inconvenience, time spent, etc.) and the gains (such as better blood sugar control, less interruption during activities of daily life). Consequently, the customer must provide the manufacturers with technical information about how their habits affect their health. They must also provide the manufacture with behaviors and thoughts that are current barriers to compliance.
When the pharmaceutical company and the bio-med company engage customers with an open mind, they are looking specifically for the customers to tell them why they become non-compliant. Neither manufacturing company will be successful if they simply guess at the cause. Consequently, from the very first step in this process, both companies should use high-quality focus groups that allow customers to educate them about thoughts, behaviors, and outcomes.
Both the bio-med and pharmaceutical companies should consider that their future customers know that non-compliance may result in terrible health problems down the road. Even with that knowledge, patients continue to be non-compliant. For the pharmaceutical and bio-med companies, this is a critical finding.
Their potential patient-customers simply will not be motivated by fear. There is no fear greater than dying young because of carelessness or unwillingness to follow the rules. That means this product has to do more than just take away the inconvenience of having diabetes. Instead, it must improve the customer's life in the long run and in the short run. The patient's desire to use the device proactively must be greater than the fear of what the future holds if they do not. Thus, the device must simultaneously eliminate the customer pain of inconvenience as well as actively contribute to the gain of better health both now and in the future.
Long before Androids and iPhones, the company Blackberry manufactured an amazing product that had customers wild-eyed with excitement. But that was then, and this is now. It is truly tragic that Blackberry was pushed out of the market essentially by their own device. How did such an amazing idea with a capable company die this way? The simple answer is that they failed to understand and learn from their customers.
Blackberry had a great product, but it failed because they did not give their customers a job. In the Blackberry Golden Age, the job to be done was closely aligned with Blackberry's model. During this period, the customer job was mainly done by high-end professionals like physicians, attorneys, and financial industry players. The company and its customers became fatally misaligned when, instead of continuing to build based on its customers' jobs, it made a play for the personal device segment. Abandoning its successful customer job data and entering the personal device market left Blackberry without customers from either segment.
It's impossible to develop a viable product without evaluating the customer job to be done (JTBD), or the end-to-end process a consumer goes through the they want a good or service. Organizations with products that depend on a specific customer segment must create a permanent line of communication that allows the company to quickly and accurately respond to customer input. Companies that do not give their customers a job will end up receiving only negative feedback in the form of complaints, and they will be unable to solve any of their customer's pains (the things a customer hates about the job to be done) or provide them with any real gains(the things that make customers excited to use the product or service).
The insulin pump is a tremendous success because the manufacturers were crystal-clear on how customers would use their product. They achieved this level of customer fit because their customers were given the job of providing them with the right information to succeed.
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Back To CourseBusiness Writing: Help & Review
10 chapters | 87 lessons