The world’s largest and most active automobile industry, the one in India, is a place where change is constantly afoot. The need for excellent and effective car workshops is increasing dramatically as the number of vehicles on the road rises. These businesses are a crucial component of the automobile ecosystem, charged with looking after the well-being of these devices that have become a need in our daily lives.
However, Indian car workshops are currently facing a number of difficulties, many of which are brought on by a failure to adequately comprehend and meet the changing expectations of the modern consumer. The industry is still largely controlled by traditional models, which frequently fall short of meeting the rising expectations of customers for quick, dependable, and customised support.
Here, the ‘Job-to-be-Done’ idea of famous Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen offers crucial insights. This well-known idea argues forcefully that consumers effectively ‘hire’ a good or service to carry out a particular ‘job’ for them. It exhorts companies to put themselves in their clients’ shoes, understand these tasks, and develop their solutions appropriately.
I will also introduce a new tool, the CHANGE Framework, that provides a new way of understanding and addressing the problems encountered by consumers in auto workshops. Constricting, Haphazard, Arid, Noxious, Glitchy, and Ecotoxic make up the acronym, which represents a unique set of customer experience pain points. This framework should be useful in helping car workshops identify the issues that need to be addressed.
In this piece, we examine these two conceptual tools in depth, consider how they apply to the world of auto workshops, and talk about how they might help us rethink the direction that auto workshops in India will take in the future. Let us embark on this journey to not just make our workshops better but to transform them into spaces that truly resonate with the aspirations and requirements of the contemporary Indian car owner.
The ‘Job-to-be-Done’ theory, developed by renowned Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, presents an innovative lens through which we can understand customer needs and wants. It posits that customers ‘hire’ a product or service to do a specific ‘job’ for them, which can range from solving a problem to fulfilling a desire. This theory encourages businesses to understand these ‘jobs’ deeply and structure their products or services around them, thereby aligning their offerings with the actual needs of their customers.
In the context of car workshops, this theory becomes particularly salient. An understanding of what jobs customers need their vehicles to perform, whether that be providing reliable transportation to work, showcasing personal style or status, or ensuring the safety of their families, will illuminate the range of services a car workshop should offer. Moreover, the concept goes beyond functional needs. It extends to psychological and social jobs too.
Hence, for Indian car workshops, adopting the ‘Job-to-be-Done’ framework could mean a significant reorientation of their service design and delivery. It pushes them to empathise more closely with their customers, to comprehend not just what the customers say they want, but to understand the underlying jobs they need their cars (and by extension, car workshops) to do for them.
The various ‘Jobs’ at an Auto Workshop
Understanding the numerous ‘jobs’ customers need to have completed is crucial in the world of auto repairs. Understanding these jobs can change how car workshops provide their services since they represent the functional, psychological, and social demands of customers rather than being purely transactional chores.
At the functional level, customers go to auto repair shops largely to find a solution to a particular issue. It could involve finding and fixing a flat tire, an engine problem, or any other problem that prevents their vehicle from operating properly. Regular maintenance is another important task that customers want completed in addition to problem-solving. They depend on workshops for routine tasks like oil changes, brake checks, tire rotations, and battery replacements, all essential to keeping their car in optimal running condition.
Many customers also try to increase their car’s performance in an effort to get better mileage or increase speed. This task could entail tuning the engine, installing high-performance components, or making any other modifications targeted at improving the car’s performance. Ensuring safety is a crucial functional job. Customers put their trust in workshops to examine and maintain safety-related components including brakes, airbags, and lights, underscoring the workshop’s critical role in ensuring customer safety.
Moving on to the psychological sphere, giving advice and information is one important task that car mechanics carry out. Customers frequently seek expert assistance on maintenance schedules, problem identification, part replacement deadlines, etc. due to the complexity of modern cars. The knowledge that they have access to trustworthy guidance satisfies an emotional need and fosters a sense of security and confidence.
Another psychological need that is frequently met by improvements to the inside of the car is that of comfort and convenience. A customer’s driving experience can be improved by having the seats adjusted for maximum comfort, having the vehicle detailed for a spotless appearance and feel, or having a cutting-edge audio system installed. Furthermore, developing trust is a crucial task. Customers need to develop an emotional bond of trust with the workshop by having the assurance that they will not be overcharged or forced to undergo unneeded repairs.
Finally, let us discuss social jobs. A sizable portion of clients see their cars as investments and count on workshops to assist maintain or even raise the value of their car. Maintaining a car’s worth through detailing, preventive maintenance, and high-quality part replacements reflects the status and competence of the owner. Customers that prioritise efficiency are catered to by shops that provide speedy services or pick-up and drop-off options, further supporting their social image as busy, productive people. Choosing workshops that stress sustainability can have social repercussions as environmental consciousness rises and reflects the owner’s dedication to environmentally friendly methods.
Beyond simple repairs, clients frequently require their auto shops to complete a wide range of jobs. Workshops may create an experience that profoundly connects with their clients by identifying these demands and effectively addressing them, ultimately resulting in their success.
Decoding the CHANGE Framework
Are these jobs being appropriately handled by modern auto shops? Analysing the situation, it becomes clear that most functional jobs are satisfactorily completed. However, there is still a long road ahead for car workshops in terms of performing psychological and social jobs.
There is a chance to completely transform how car workshops run by paying close attention to these basic customer requirements. According to renowned professor Clayton Christensen, the fundamental jobs that customers need to be completed are constant across time and display a high level of consistency. The difficulty lies in pinpointing the precise difficulties a customer would experience in the current situation when attempting to do these jobs.
We suggest using a unique framework called CHANGE in order to facilitate this research.
The CHANGE Framework provides a special lens through which to evaluate and examine the difficulties that clients encounter when dealing with auto shops. Each letter in the acronym CHANGE, which stands for Constricting, Haphazard, Arid, Noxious, Glitchy, and Ecotoxic, shows a particular facet of the consumer experience that can be generating discomfort or discontent.
C is for Constricted: This is used to describe any system need at a car store that annoys the consumer. It can involve rigid operation hours, a difficult booking procedure, or any other constraining element that limits the customer’s freedom and makes their experience more difficult.
H is for Haphazard: This word refers to system complexity in the workshop that could frustrate or irritate the customer. Customer uncertainty and annoyance may result from these factors, which include inconsistent service quality, unclear communication, or just a chaotic and untidy workspace.
A is for Arid: In this context, arid refers to what customers may find boring or uninteresting about their experience at an auto repair business. This may be due to a dull waiting space, a lack of facilities or entertainment, or just a cold and indifferent staff interaction.
N is for Noxious: This refers to anything that happens in the workshop that causes customers to feel unsafe or at risk. It can involve potential safety risks in the workshop, bad vehicle handling, or a lack of openness in the billing and services that breeds mistrust. The risk can be physical, financial, or psychological as well.
G is for Glitchy: This refers to any broken process or system that makes it difficult for customers to have a positive experience. A bad website design, broken reservation systems, or inadequate customer feedback tools that make the customer feel unproductive or unheard are a few examples.
E is for Ecotoxic: The final letter identifies components that buyers may consider to be unsustainable. Environmentally concerned customers may become uncomfortable with practices like inappropriate trash disposal, excessive use of non-renewable resources,
or simply not providing eco-friendly servicing options as there is growing knowledge about environmental sustainability.
Integrating the CHANGE Framework with Customer Jobs in Car Workshops
We may develop a more thorough, customer-focused strategy for the car repair industry by connecting the CHANGE framework to the functional, psychological, and social tasks mentioned by Clayton Christensen.
The C – Constricting aspect of CHANGE pertains primarily to functional jobs. Customers who want to fix specific automotive problems or arrange routine maintenance, for instance, may be put off by a restrictive operation schedule or a difficult booking process. The workshop’s functionality might be greatly enhanced by simplifying these elements, making it more usable and convenient.
The H – Haphazard aspect fits both psychological and functional jobs. Customers may feel uncertain and confused about the safety of their vehicles or the reliability of the advice and information given if there are variations in the quality of the services they receive or if there is a lack of clear communication.
The A – Arid component has a close connection to social and psychological work. Customers may feel undervalued as a result of a drab waiting space or impersonal staff interactions, undercutting the workshop’s efforts to foster customer confidence or improve their comfort and convenience.
N – Noxious is compatible with both psychological and functional jobs. For instance, a customer’s confidence in the workshop’s ability to protect safety or provide trustworthy advice may decrease if they perceive potential safety concerns in the workshop or detect a lack of transparency in charging.
All job categories are applicable to the G – Glitchy aspect. For example, a broken booking system can make it harder for a customer to arrange for routine maintenance or absence of technician may make them feel unproductive.
Finally, E – Ecotoxic is particularly significant in the context of social jobs. If workshops fail to incorporate sustainable practices, customers who view their cars as investments and who are environmentally conscious may feel their social status is compromised.
Our study of the ‘Job-to-be-Done’ concept and the CHANGE Framework offers a potentially effective strategy to transform the design of Indian auto workshops. Beginning the journey requires a thorough comprehension of the customer’s needs-both functional and psychological. The industry can go beyond the confines of merely transactional interactions and touch upon the psychological and social components of client expectations by sincerely committing to recognise the ‘jobs’ the customers desire to be done.
The CHANGE Framework highlights the numerous elements of the customer experience that can cause discomfort or discontent when it is applied to the auto repair sector. Workshops may increase customer satisfaction by addressing these points of friction—whether they are Constricting, Haphazard, Arid, Noxious, Glitchy, or Ecotoxic—and fostering deeper and longer-lasting relationships with those they serve.
The task is not done yet, though. The ‘Job to be Done’ and the CHANGE Framework can be combined to show how the many customer ‘jobs’ might affect different aspects of the customer experience. Workshops may give its consumers a more tailored, effective, and pleasurable experience by attending to their demands and needs.
National Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Management (NIIEM)