Switch, step up or get in?

Marketers are often judged on the inflow of new customers, leaving customer retention greatly underemphasized. Bringing in switchers is what counts. Unfortunately an annoying characteristic of switchers is that they keep moving and never stay in the same place. They transfer to you through your competitor and eventually hop back to another competitor. This focus on switchers is a shame because switchers often leave as quickly as they came. 

Organizations accept the fact that existing customers leave every year. They dismiss this as a lack of loyalty from these departing customers. According to them, they are price buyers who simply walk away to their competitors for a few cents and that's it. Acquiring new customers remains much sexier, and so customers who switch quickly turn into customers who quit. 

Energy companies, health insurance companies, supermarkets, telecom companies and hardware stores shout for attention that they are the cheapest. It makes sense that they attract customers who are looking for an edge. Let's face it, most organizations only know how to entice new customers by offering a lower price. You find little added value with these companies, the customer really does not want to pay a penny too much.

Is there no other option but to compete on price? Companies can, of course, spend even more money to acquire customers, but unless their innovation efforts are driven by a thorough understanding of what customers need, their growth objective is bound to fall short. Successful marketing always starts with identifying the right needs which ensures that growth opportunities are there for the taking.  

Jobs to be Done (JtbD): 
The JtbD framework is a powerful tool that helps better understand customer needs so you design products and services that truly satisfy them. JtbD theory simply asks, “What is the job your product is hired for? This is what customers always base their purchasing decisions on!


When you go through the above four steps, you know how your customers want to accomplish their specific tasks in certain situations. Now you know how to make your customers' lives easier because your products really make their lives more enjoyable. That creates loyal customers so your customers are sure to transform from switchers to boarders. Curious about this approach? Use the Jobs to be Done Canvas and the Job Stories Canvas for free to create boarders. 



Ruud Olijve

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