The saying goes: People don't want a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole, says Tobias Komischke. The drill is just a means to an end to get that hole in the wall to put a shelf on it.

Tobias contends that understanding the concept of Jobs to Be Done is key to understanding the root needs of your customer. In his recent piece, Using Customer Journey Maps and Jobs to Be Done for a Better Customer Experience, he explains the reason that customers buy products: They want to accomplish something.

Tobias is adamant that customer journey maps should reflect the customers' perspectives and not your own. And beyond that, he insists that putting together customer journey maps without the real involvement of the customer — meaning real data from that customer — is a very bad idea because you're creating the map from nothing more than a hypothesis or a dream. 

Tobias brings 20-plus years of experience and a refreshing take on data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning. You can read his recent columns here. And you can catch a video we did with him earlier in the year above.

This is part of our end-of-year series celebrating our top CMSWire Contributors of the Year for 2022. These are regular CMSWire Contributors whose articles this year greatly resonated with our community of professionals. These Contributors simply serve as great ambassadors of our brand in the world of marketing and customer experience.

Perfect Is the Enemy of Good

What excites you most about the space you cover? 

I love that customer/user experience is a people business. There are so many personal touchpoints — first of all, of course, to the customers and users we serve. But also to many internal functions including product management, development, marketing and sales.

I also relish the pure bandwidth of our space: qualitative research, quantitative research, journey mapping, needs analysis, information architecture, interaction design, visual design, usability testing, etc. — there are so many skills that are applied that you can always learn more.

Related Article: Heuristic Evaluation vs. Usability Testing: What’s the Difference and Which Should I Use?

What trend(s) do you think will emerge in 2023? 

I think that mixed methods research approaches will be used more to find out about customers and users. Today, oftentimes you either do a quantitative study (e.g. a survey) or a qualitative study (e.g. a focus group). The former gives you data on what people say they do and want, but it falls short on explaining the root causes. The latter goes deep enough to shed a light on the “why,” but does not cover enough people to generalize the findings to the whole target audience.

Also, what people say and what they do is oftentimes different, so having an observational research approach where audience members demonstrate what they actually do at work is very helpful. As customer and user research becomes more and more important, you’ll get a maximum level of insights through the combination of these methods. 

Learning Opportunities

Related Article: Usability Testing or User Acceptance Testing?

What's the best career advice you ever got?

“Perfect is the enemy of good.” I think everybody who is passionate about his or her work tries to make it perfect, flawless and pure gold. It’s a commendable attitude, but in reality it’s either impossible to achieve or you need a very long amount of time. I once ran an international product harmonization project where we strived for perfection. We ended up delivering way behind schedule and much to our surprise the world hadn’t waited for us — the market conditions had changed during the course of our endeavor, and the project results were pretty much obsolete. 

Related Article: Understanding the Impact Text Treatment Has on Usability, User Experience

What's the best personal advice you ever got?

“Nobody said life was fair.” Many things are beyond our control, and so we have to be resilient to overcome those situations when we’re being dealt a bad hand. On the other side, it also means that sometimes you’ll be just plain lucky without having deserved it!

Related Articles: More Isn’t Always Better: 5 Reasons Companies Are Streamlining the Digital Workplace

Tell us something about you not related to your work field of interest?

I like bicycling and my degree is in psychology — which makes me a cycologist:)