To define what customers really want so as to innovate more systematically, companies need to think more efficiently about customer requirements. The key to success is to identify, as early as possible, what factors customers are going to use to assess the value of a product or service so as to design it accordingly
Successful organizations have however recently refined their approach to understanding customer requirements, introducing new segmentations based on "jobs to be done". The principle, formalized by the innovation guru, Clayton Christensen, is that customers have "jobs" that arise regularly and need to get done. When customers become aware of a job that needs to get done, they look around for a service or product that they can "hire" to get the job done..
When companies focus on helping a customer get a job done faster, cheaper, more conveniently or with more fun than alternatives, they are more likely to create products or services that the customer wants.
However, understanding what faster, cheaper, more conveniently or more fun needs to be put in measurable terms to set the base for evaluating market opportunities and deciding product or service requirements. Measures like importance and satisfaction levels can be very successfully combined to provide a powerful approach to uncover and prioritize opportunities.
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