According to renowned coach and speaker, Anthony Robbins, humans have 6 core basic needs. And, when it comes to customer experience–whether you are on the consumer or business side of the equation—you can see some of these basic human needs at play.

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Basic Human Need for Consumers: Feel Understood

For consumers, a key basic human need is often to be understood, which is in the “connection” category of Robbins’ diagram. That is, when consumers engage with a brand, service or product, they want to feel that it understands their needs and meets them.

Have you ever found yourself trying to describe your problem or perspective to a friend who made you feel completely understood? You may have responded with an “Exactly!” and felt reassured after the conversation. To feel understood means that our reality is acknowledged and validated.

On the flip side, we likely have all been in situations where it didn’t matter how many times we attempt to explain our side of the story, the other person simply didn’t “get” us and, worse, didn’t appear to even be trying to understand our perspective. This experience can leave us maddened, hopeless and dejected.

In the age of competing on customer experience, businesses are devoting more energy and dollars to understanding customers. But, in order for this endeavor to be efficient and scalable (i.e. “make good business sense”), they are deploying technologies that analyze, interpret and score customer experience into digestible bits of quantified categories. They look for keywords or tonal indicators that may detect negative sentiment. They also likely are soliciting customer feedback through online brand reputation platforms (online reviews) or surveys such as NPS.

If these tools truly produce a better understanding of our customers, businesses should be able to take strategic and targeted action based upon the data produced. Additionally, these technologies should yield a change in customer feedback and sentiment because leaders will have made responsive changes to better serve them. Our research and conversations with companies suggest that the Cx solutions most-widely utilized aren’t meeting this need.

Basic Human Need for Business Leaders: Make a Meaningful Contribution

Now, let’s look at the other side of the customer experience equation—the business person’s side. That brings us to the second basic human need: the need to feel like your work and time is meaningful. Everyone wants to feel that they are making a valuable contribution and that their time and energy is solving a problem and helping people.

What inspires and fuels this human need most effectively? Connection. In order for leaders and employees to understand and execute on a company’s mission, they must engage beyond the pie graphs, trend lines and keywords and connect with the humans whose lives their work impacts.

I will never forget facilitating a session with a group of executives and budget-owners for a large health care company, who were engaging for the first time in an immersive experience with their customers. As the group listened to the voices of their actual customers, talking about their experiences of struggle, survival and victory over their own health care challenges, the emotion and sense of connection in the room was palatable. This experience inspired deep conversations amongst colleagues, sparked innovative new approaches to serving the population more effectively, and gave all who participated a sense of noble contribution.

Quite simply, if your customer experience tools do not elicit emotion among the analysts and leaders who are using them, then you are missing out on an opportunity to deeply understand your customer and inspire your team into action.

Want to know how to better meet the basic human needs of your customers and employees who serve them? Worried that this can’t be accomplished in a scalable and technology-enabled way? We invite you to learn more by reaching out to us!

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