Desired Outcomes Matter


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What happens when we really understand our customers’ desired outcomes or the jobs they are trying to do?

Something pretty incredible happens!

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Faster Horses… and Customer Outcomes and the importance of asking the right questions – to understand desired outcomes – in order to develop products your customers will want to use/buy.

In that post, I wrote:

… step back and ask customers about their pain points with the current product, what it’s not doing for them, what they’re trying to achieve that they can’t. Or bypass thinking about the current product; focus on a situation for which you’ll develop a new or better solution. Focus on what customers are trying to do and uncover unmet needs to aid in your new product design efforts.

When we understand pain points, desired outcomes, and what customers are trying to do, we can truly innovate and create some incredible products. Case in point, here’s an example of what happens when we understand these things:

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Pretty awesome concept! Imagine if that technology appeared on more trucks around the globe.

I thought it was important to share an example of what happens when we understand what our customers are trying to do and how we can help them do it – or what the current experience is and how we can improve upon it. This particular example is pretty powerful because it’s a lifesaver. Literally.

You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around. -Steve Jobs

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Annette Franz
Annette Franz is founder and Chief Experience Officer of CX Journey Inc. She is an internationally recognized customer experience thought leader, coach, consultant, and speaker. She has 25+ years of experience in helping companies understand their employees and customers in order to identify what makes for a great experience and what drives retention, satisfaction, and engagement. She's sharing this knowledge and experience in her first book, Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the "Customer" in Customer Experience (and at the Heart of Your Business).


  1. Hi Annette

    Bang on target!

    As you suggest, developing an outside-in perspective on the customer experience based on customer jobs-to-be-done and their desired outcomes is critical if the experience is to be successfully improved.

    There are six simple principles for applying the customer jobs-to-be-done approach to redesigning the customer experience:

    Principle 1: Customers have jobs-to-be-done

    Principle 2: Customers do jobs to get the outcomes they desire

    Principle 3: Customers interact with others to get their jobs done (and the outcomes they desire)

    Principle 4: Customers make critical decisions during some interactions

    Principle 5: It usually requires a series of related interactions to get jobs done completely

    Principle 6: Customers assess the experience based on all the interactions they used to get their jobs done.

    If experience designers keep these six principles in mind they will be more likely to improve the experiences that help customers get their jobs done easier, faster and better. Only when customers get their jobs done do companies get what they want too.

    Graham Hill

  2. Hi Annette

    The Six Principles are important as they remind us that value for customers and companies is created one interaction at a time. As more and better data about interaction performance becomes available to experience designers, we are seeing a movement away from looking at designing the experience as a rigid whole towards optimising collections of individual but related interactions. For example, an article on ‘In the UK, Real-Time Marketing Moves to Moment Marketing’ in eMarketer suggests that ‘Moment Marketing’ will go mainstream in 2016. Deloitte and WARC also identified ‘What Moments are You Targeting?’ as one of the six key questions brand marketers should ask in 2016. And of course, big-data behemoth, Google has been promoting ‘Micro-Momemts’ for some moths.

    Customers experience life one interaction at a time. More strictly speaking, they live it in the ‘now’, with an emphasis on the recent past and a much smaller emphasis on the expected near future. Bearing this in mind, it surely makes more sense to design the customer interactions as a series of loosely-linked ‘next-best actions’ that 95% of customers can navigate their way through, rather than as a rigid customer journey that only 5% of customers will ever follow. This is exactly what Dell have been doing, as Experience Design and Innovation Lead, Corey Craig describes in a recent presentation on ‘Designing and Operating an Always-on Marketing Program at Scale’ at the recent MarTech US conference.

    I have seen the future; but I still get to experience it one interaction at a time!

    Graham Hill


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