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The Secret Lives of Customers: A Detective Story About Solving the Mystery of Customer Behavior

The Secret Lives of Customers: A Detective Story About Solving the Mystery of Customer Behavior

by David S Duncan


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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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781541774490
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 05/04/2021
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 428,512
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

David Scott Duncan is a managing director at Innosight, where he works with leaders to create customer-centric teams, strategies, and organizations. He is the coauthor of two previous books, including the Wall Street Journal bestseller Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice, written with the legendary Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen. A leading authority on the theory and application of jobs to be done, Duncan has extensive experience conducting market investigations around the world. Prior to Innosight, he worked for four years as a consultant at McKinsey & Company and earned a PhD in physics from Harvard. He lives with his family in East Greenwich, RI. 

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

Part I The Case of the Disappearing Customers 5

1 Onboarding 9

2 Origin Story 19

3 Big Data 28

4 Staff Meeting 33

5 Small Data 39

6 Language, Method, Mindset 44

7 Why Hire a Cup of Coffee? 48

8 Job Spec 56

9 New Territory 66

10 More Clues 74

11 Patterns 82

12 The Barista 95

13 Rising Stakes 106

14 Fired 109

15 The Real Competition 118

16 Cracking the Case 132

17 Why Hire an Employer? 142

18 Spinning 146

19 The Offsite 150

20 Connecting Dots 159

21 The Mayor 165

Epilogue: Six Months Later 170

Part II Becoming a Market Detective 175

Acknowledgments 211

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