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The Secret Lives of Customers: A Detective Story About Solving the Mystery of Customer Behavior by David Scott Duncan

About the Book

A “detective story” that delivers key insights for any businessperson asking the questions: who really are our customers, why do we lose them, how do we regain them?

Customers can be a mystery.

Despite the availability of more data than ever before, everyone, from the CEO to salespeople in the field, struggles to understand who their customers really are, what they want, why they lose them, and how to regain them.

To crack the case, start thinking like a market detective.

David Scott Duncan shows how in his entertaining story of Tazza, a fictional chain of cafes with declining sales and leaders urgently seeking to understand why.

The vivid characters of Tazza’s market detective force come to their aha moment when they finally understand why their most loyal customers walked out the door—and how they can get them back.

The core of the Tazza story is a simple, powerful idea that upends how most businesses view their customers. Customers have “jobs to be done.”

They “hire” companies to solve a problem or fulfill a need and “fire” them when unhappy.

Duncan’s fresh way of thinking about how to understand your customers’ secret lives provides an innovative path for solving whatever market mysteries you face.

About the Author

David Scott Duncan is a managing director at the strategy and innovation consultancy Innosight, where he works with leaders to create customer-centric teams, strategies, and organizations.

He is a leading authority on the theory and application of “jobs to be done,” with extensive experience conducting market investigations around the world.

David is the co-author of two previous books, including the Wall Street Journal bestseller Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice, written with the late Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen.

Prior to joining Innosight, he worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company, earned a Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University, and an undergraduate degree in Philosophy from Duke University.

Listen to the Interview…


Clayton Christensen (milk shake)


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