If you're looking for a better way to understand your customers and their needs, you should try conducting a Jobs To Be Done interview. This type of interview can help you learn what your customers are trying to achieve with your SaaS product. In this blog post, we will discuss what a Jobs To Be Done interview is and how to ask the right questions.
What Is Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD)?
A Jobs to Be Done Framework is the practice of developing a product based on customers’ actual needs, i.e. the job they want to get done. The main aim is to think from the perspective of a customer that has a specific task they want to complete and to figure out what would make them “hire” your product to get that job done.
In essence, you’re trying to learn the specific reasons why customers buy your product - which pain point they are trying to solve and how. This is a great way to take a look at your product from a different angle and focus on solving customers’ pain points rather than build features without a specific purpose.
What is a Jobs To Be Done Interview?
A Jobs to be Done Interview is a technique that helps to understand the job a customer wants to be done and not the product they are currently using. In other words, a need that they currently have and that your product does not solve.
For example, if you have a CRM tool that doesn’t integrate with a cold calling business phone tool, this is a job that your customers want to do - and you can’t help them.
A JTBD interview can help you understand what alternatives they might consider and why they would choose your product instead of the competition.
The idea behind a Jobs to Be Done Interview is that people rarely buy a product because they need its specific features or functions. They buy products to get jobs done. So, if you can figure out what job the customer is trying to do, you can better understand their needs and how your product might fit in.
To conduct a Jobs to Be Done Interview, first ask the customer about the problem they are trying to solve. Then, ask them about all of the possible solutions they've considered (including your product). Finally, ask them why they chose your product over the others.
What are some Jobs to be Done Questions to Ask?
There is no one set of questions that will work for every interview. However, here are some general questions that might help you get started.
#1 What is the first thing you do as you begin using our SaaS product?
This question can help you understand why your customers would open your product’s website every day. In other words, the first thought that comes to their mind as they load up the browser screen with your app.
In short, you’re going to find out the primary reason for using and most likely, purchasing your product. While there are probably multiple uses they have for what you’re offering, the initial one that first comes to their mind is the strongest and should be investigated more carefully.
Some possible variations on this question include:
- What’s the first thing that comes to your mind once you hear the name of our product?
- Which of our features is currently the most useful to you?
- If you could recommend us to your peers for one thing we do right, what would that thing be?
No matter how you phrase it, this question can be a great way to get started on understanding your customers’ needs.
#2 What are the biggest problems you're trying to solve?
One of the best ways to understand your customers is to ask them what problems they are trying to solve. By understanding their needs, you can create a product or service that meets their requirements and priorities. Asking this question also helps you determine if your product or service is a good fit for them.
If the customer is having trouble answering this question, it might be helpful to ask them about specific projects or tasks they're working on. This will give you more information about their needs.
You can also ask follow-up questions to get more specific information, such as:
- What are the consequences of not solving this problem?
- What would happen if this problem was solved?
- How important is it to solve this problem?
- What are you currently doing to solve this problem?
Furthermore, you can ask the customer to walk you through their current workflow. This will help you understand how they are currently trying to solve the problem and what steps they are taking.
#3 What are the things you need to do before doing the task in our product?
Customers will often have a list of things they need to do before tackling something within your product. For example, if you sell email marketing software, they’ll need to collect the addresses of their recipients before creating a campaign in your product.
This question is a great practice for creating a job map - practically, a list of steps someone needs to take before they actually get to “the job”. This helps you define what happens prior to using the product and what triggers the need for a solution.
Defining these steps will help you better understand the motivation that happens behind the very need for solving a job rather than using your specific product.
#4 What are some of the other SaaS solutions you've considered?
When customers are trying to solve a problem, they often consider multiple solutions. By understanding what other options they've considered, you can learn more about their thought process and priorities. This question also helps you understand why they chose your product over the others.
Some possible follow-up questions include:
- What did you like/dislike about the other solutions?
- Where did those solutions fall short?
- How important was it that our product met your specific needs?
- What were the deciding factors for choosing us?
This question can also help you understand how competitive your market is. If a customer has already tried several of your competitors' products, they might be more willing to switch to yours.
#5 When do you use our product or services the most?
Understanding when your customers use your product can help you focus your marketing and messaging. If most of their usage happens outside of the workday, for example, you might want to consider targeting them with ads during non-work hours. Alternatively, if they are using it mainly during work hours, you might want to target them with ads during their lunch break.
This question can also help you understand what part of the customer's journey they are in. If they are using your product more frequently, they might be further along in their decision-making process.
This question can also help you identify early adopters and evangelists. If a customer is using your product frequently and recommending it to others, they might be a good candidate for an ambassador or affiliate program.
#6 What is the one thing our product makes or facilitates for you?
This question helps you understand the problem your product solves for your customers. By understanding what benefit is most important to them, you can focus on highlighting that in your marketing and messaging. It can also help you prioritize future features and enhancements.
Some possible follow-up questions include:
- What are some of the other benefits of our product?
- How important is each of those benefits to you?
- What are some of the challenges you've experienced with our product?
- What would happen if we couldn't solve that problem for you?
With this question, you want to find out what the customer is trying to achieve as well as their motivation for wanting to use your product. Why are they choosing you and how do you make their work better?
How can you use this information?
There are a few different ways that you can use the information from Jobs to be done interviews in your business.
#1 Improve your product
By understanding what the customer wants and needs, you can create a product or service that meets those needs and exceeds their expectations. Furthermore, such interviews can help you identify new features or functions that might be useful for your SaaS product.
#2 Improve your marketing
The second way is to use it as a way to improve your marketing. By understanding what the customer wants and needs, you can create marketing materials that speak directly to those needs or dispel their doubts. Additionally, you can use the information to create targeted ads and content.
#3 Improve your sales numbers
Another way to use this information is to use it as a way to find new customers. By understanding the problems that people are trying to solve, you can find new markets for your products and services – even if they don't know they need them yet.
#4 Better training and onboarding
Finally, you can also use it as a way to train your sales team. By understanding customers' objections, you can train your team on how to overcome them and close more sales. What's more here, you can also use this information to improve your onboarding process. New customers will be more likely to stick around if they feel that their needs are being understood and met from the very beginning.
#5 Create customer profiles
Another way to use this information is to create customer profiles. These are a great way to get a better understanding of your customers as a whole and can help you when it comes time to create targeted marketing campaigns.
Over and out
There are many different ways that Jobs To Be Done interviews can benefit your business. By asking the right questions, you can learn what your customers are trying to achieve and how you can help them get there. And, if you're not doing them already, it's definitely something you should consider adding to your toolkit.
If you’re looking for some other ways to communicate with customers and collect their feedback, give FeedBear a try! You can use idea boards to collect feedback and let your customers vote on what they want to see delivered and then display your plans and progress using a public roadmap. Sign up today for a free trial to see what FeedBear can do for you!