B2B solution providers can enrich the insights from their customer satisfaction surveys and conversations by taking a cue from product marketing and adding a few questions about the customer’s jobs-to-be-done.
Customer satisfaction, loyalty, and NPS metrics focus on the vendor providing the solution: How well are we delivering what we said we would deliver? While delivering the key elements of your product or service is critical to a customer’s satisfaction with your solution, those features or functionality are why they selected your solution over competitors, not the ultimate reason customers pay for your product or service.
Customers use your solution to help them achieve a specific outcome – attract talent, generate demand, increase collaboration, decrease time to market, manage finances, etc. From the customer’s perspective, achieving these outcomes is the priority, not how they reach them. As a result, customers can be satisfied with your solution but still drift away if they start to feel that an alternative would ultimately do a better job of helping them accomplish the job-to-be-done.
When a B2B marketer invests in paid online advertising, their ultimate goal isn’t reach or impressions – their goal is to increase the number of prospects that visit their website. Therefore, this B2B marketer may be very satisfied with the pricing, reach, impressions, analytics, and clicks that their paid online marketing partner provides.
This same B2B marketer may also find that investing in their social media management tools generates more visits to their website (the desired outcome) than paid online advertising. Of course, they’d always keep both solutions – online advertising and the social media platform in – the ideal world. But if forced to allocate limited budgets, this marketer may reduce their paid online advertising, even if they are satisfied with their current partner.
Satisfaction with the solution category underlies the dynamics described above. In mature, stable markets, satisfaction with the solution tends to align with satisfaction with the category. But in markets undergoing change or disruption, it is crucial to understand if and where perceptions of the category and desired outcomes have diverged. For example, many companies abandoned their onsite data backup solutions not because they were unsatisfied but because cloud storage provided the same outcome with less effort.
Add outcome questions
Incorporating outcome questions into your customer satisfaction program is relatively straightforward. The first step is to ensure you understand the top 3-4 outcomes your customer is trying to achieve by using your solution. Identifying their goals may require conducting qualitative in-depth interviews or a survey with customers.
Once defined, add questions about these jobs-to-be-done to your customer satisfaction survey or interview guide. For example, ask, “How well does our solution help your team… decrease the time to market for new products… attract top talent… increase collaboration…”
Adding these questions opens doors for insights and analysis that go beyond adding 3-4 questions to your survey. First and foremost, it identifies if you are helping your clients achieve the business outcomes they desire. Ideally, the data is confirmatory – your customer sees a direct connection between your solution and the outcome they want to achieve. It can highlight themes the product marketing team can use in its messaging strategy and those they may want to avoid.
Suppose it turns out that your solution is not helping achieve the desired business outcome. In that case, it can surface areas you should follow up on with qualitative customer interviews – literally asking customers why they don’t think your solution helps with specific outcomes.
If you have questions about identifying a customer’s jobs-to-be-done, we’d be happy to provide our perspective.
For more perspectives on customers satisfaction see the following related posts.