Jobs Theory demonstrates that the struggle to get the job done causes customers to make a purchase. This makes sense. If you have a problem you need to solve or a goal you need to achieve, i.e. a Job-to-be-Done, you look for a solution that will help you. Every JTBD has needs that can be structured with an action and a variable. For example, when getting to a destination on time (a JTBD), consumers need to determine (an action) the optimal sequence (a variable) of their planned stops. Every JTBD has betwen 50 to 100 different customers needs (actions and variables), so you need to figure out which needs are unmet by the current competitive solutions.
These unmet needs are what you should target with your product roadmap because if you satisfy these unmet needs faster and more accurately than your competitors, your product roadmap will take market share and accelerate your growth. So how do you figure out which customer needs are unmet?
Every customer need can be quantified for speed and accuracy. How long does it take the customer to take the action in the need, and when they take the action, how accurate is the variable? Speed and accuracy are critical metrics. But we also want to know how customers perceive the current level of speed and accuracy. Is the current level difficult, in other words, is it a struggle?
To determine which customer needs are unmet, you should survey customers in your market and ask them about the difficulty of getting the job done and satisfying their needs. This level difficulty is know as the Customer Effort Score, i.e. it quantifies how much effort it takes customers satisfy a need in the job. You can ask customers "how difficult is it to satisfy this need" and have them respond on a scale with five answers: (i) very difficult, (ii) difficult, (iii) neither difficult nor easy, (iv) easy, or (v) very easy.
The percentage of customers who rate the need as difficult or very difficult is your customer effort score for the need. For example, if 86% of drivers say that determining the optimal sequence to make planned stops is difficult or very difficult, then you have a customer effort score of 86%. This means that 86% of customers in this segment struggle to get the job done fast and accurately.
Example: An Unmet Need in "Get to a destination on time"
Now that we know that 86% of customers struggle, we can measure the speed and accuracy of the need to determine the optimal sequence of planned stops by analyzing how a customer attempts to satisfy the need with competitive products. For a busy person with multiple meetings, appointments, and errands throughout a day, determining the optimal sequence using Apple Maps or Google Maps would require entering destination A, calculating the time and the route to destination B. Then entering destination A, calculating the time and the route to destination C, comparing the two A to B and A to C routes, determining which was quicker and repeating the process for every possible combination of destinations.
With Apple Maps and Google Maps satisfying the need to determine the optimal sequence of planned stops is manual, time-consuming and inaccurate.
As a result, this is an unmet need in the market. Customer think satisfying this need is difficult because Apple and Google Maps are slow and inaccurate. You can do this analysis for every need in your customer's JTBD to ensure that your product roadmap is focused on satisfying unmet needs better than your competitors.