4 Basic Human Needs for Happiness

What makes us happy? At work? As a consumer? In life? Happiness likely has the same triggers in most any part of your life.

It’s a fascinating topic that can take a lifetime to master. Many companies desire a “great customer experience,” but they really put no effort into learning what makes a great experience.

I’ll argue that a great customer experience is a happy one. The same things that make us happy in life, will work when applied to a customer experience. There are a lot of businesses out there that try their best to make their customer experience a happy one by making their products customer centric, trying their best to look after their customers’ by forcing their wants and needs.

I’ll also argue that a company or team of people cannot “fake” who it is for long. Using Rising as an example, I don’t think we can create a consistently amazing (aka “happy”) experience for our customers without a great culture where our employees are “happy.” How are we going to systematize and scale “faking” a happy experience? It isn’t even worth figuring out. I would rather have authentically happy employees serving customers to make them authentically happy.

I often study other superstar companies to see what they are doing well that we can learn from and possibly bring into Rising. Zappos is a company I’ve been exposed to and have enjoyed learning about. Why? They seem to be as fanatical about culture and customer experience as I am. This was an online “shoe” company that became HUGE due to their customer experience. Shoes? Online? What could be more boring? How can you stand out from thousands of websites selling shoes?

The CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh has made and lost a fortune before Zappos and has discovered it has to be about more than money. He spends a lot of his time focused on employee and customer happiness. When I heard him speak, he outlined the four basic human needs to be happy:

1. Perceived Progress
2. Perceived Control
3. Relatedness
4. Connection to a Larger Vision

This really got me thinking. I spend time, and encourage my managers to spend time, making sure our team and customers are engaged in all 4 levels to ensure a positive happy experience. It takes work to think it through and systematize it throughout a culture, but the long term benefits are worth it. See for yourself how it makes a difference at Zappos.