Jeremy Gutsche's customer service innovation keynote speech dives deep into his philosophies surrounding consumer preferences and thinking. He believes that innovation occurs when a company truly understands who its consumers are. He argues that too many companies today assume they already have a thorough understanding of who their customers are and what they want.
In his award-winning book 'Exploiting Chaos' -- which you can read for FREE here -- Jeremy includes a case study in which he participated to optimize the consumer experience at a gas station store. The study required Jeremy to camp out at the gas station for six hours to hone in on the most common customers. He discovered an interesting pattern with important implications:
"When a teenage boy drives up in his (parent's) Honda Civic, not one, not two, not three, but four hormonal boys pop out to descend upon the store. Teenage boys group shot at gas stations!
As they examine products, they things like, 'Hey, is that the new Rockstar drink? How much? Five bucks? What a rip-off! Yeah, get me one too...'
They are price-insensitive (because they are shopping with your money) and are therefore a marketer's dream."
One of the most difficult barriers to customer observation, according to Gutsche, is the belief that you already understand your customer. He advises his clients to spend time in the zone to truly gain insight about the types of consumers they are serving.