The primary purpose of services is to get consumer’s job done well. Outcome-driven service is an approach that shifts the focus away from the service solution back to a job’s outcome and satisfaction in each step of execution.
The attitude described above gives us several benefits. Let’s read a long citation.
“First, and most important, when you focus on the customer job, your understanding of customer value is no longer limited by preconceived notions about a solution because your focus is no longer on the solution. It takes the focus off the service, and places it squarely on what the customer is trying to accomplish…
Second, when the focus is on the customer job, you can rely on customers to inform you of their needs for service innovation. This flies in the face of what you may hear from many so-called experts, who say that customers do not know what they need and cannot articulate their needs even if they can identify them. This is simply not true once the focus is placed on the customer job rather than on service requirements: customers know very well what they are trying to get done and can explain quite clearly how they measure success in accomplishing a job.
Third, a focus on the customer job provides a broader and deeper understanding of customer needs… [We can deconstruct a specific job and] reveal particular steps that have been previously overlooked. It is also sure to uncover difficulties that customers have with particular steps…
For example, data backup
can be substituted by
Fourth, by focusing on the customer job, companies gain a better understanding of substitutes and competitive threats… Services don’t just compete with other services; they compete with anything the customer might use or do to get the job done better. Forewarned is forearmed: with a job focus, a company can determine how to compete with both its close (other services) and far (substitutes) competitors because the customer job transcends solutions.” (Bettencourt, 2010)
When we understand what outcome is needed and what job has to be done to get this outcome, we have to create a formal job statement for the service.
How to create a good job statement?
Preparation and preliminary analysis of coming job are one of the most important parts of the Service Design.
According to (Bettencourt, 2010) a good job statement must follow these rules:
- be stable over time
- be relevant to individuals (for example, across genders, ages, geography)
- not include any references to how the need might be satisfied, it should not mention solutions, technologies or other services
- reflect what the consumers are trying to accomplish, not just a task to get them there
- use unambiguous language so that all who read it will understand it in the same way, imprecise words such as usable, dependable, and effectively must be avoided
To simplify the creation of such statement, at first we can define the key question. (Chevallier., 2010) recommends to begin with “How” or “Why” questions. Sometimes it is a real art to finding the right question with minimum words and maximum meaning. Several articles and books explain how to do this. This knowledge can be helpful but anyway doesn’t substitute the real experience.
Examples of the key questions are: “Why quarterly OPEX is so high?”, “How to migrate data from old disk array?”, How to prevent critical data loss in case of server failure?”, “How to increase the availability of CRM application?”
A job statement always has to include “an action verb followed by a specific object of action (for example, learn to play guitar, buy a home, find someone to marry). Optionally, a job statement may contain a contextual clarifier to describe the conditions or circumstances under which the job is executed.” (Bettencourt, 2010)
The following is a list of commonly used action verbs for describing job statement.
Common verbs for job statement, adapted from (Bettencourt, 2010)
Job statement is
Contextual clarifier should answer the questions that begin with “What”, “Who”, “Why”, “When”, “Where” or “How Much”. Of course question “How” is prohibited. You mustn’t discuss ways of problem resolution or service delivery on the statement phase.