Shep Hyken’s Customer Hierarchy of Needs: how to improve the buying experience

Welcome to The Small Business Show! In today’s episode, we’re diving into a fascinating discussion about “The Customer Hierarchy of Needs.” And we’re in for a treat because we have a special guest, Shep Hyken – an esteemed Author, Speaker, and Customer Service and Experience Expert who has written extensively on this topic. Get ready to learn some valuable insights from the best in the business!

Key Takeaways

1. As we all know, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a psychological theory that humans have two sets of needs. Hyken elaborates on this idea and proposes that customers expect the same from businesses. At the bottom of his pyramid is “Products should work as intended.” This focuses on the intent that customers expect their products to work properly after purchase. 

2. Next comes “Alignment.” Organizations should ask themself, is the company aligned with what we promised? If they claim to have great service, do customers agree? Often, alignment takes time to achieve. “So if you don’t get it right the first time, try again until you do,” asserts Hyken. Alignment then leads to the third part of the pyramid – Trust. Trust and safety come from comfortable experiences.

The Customer Hierarchy Of Needs | SHEP HYKEN

3. Hyken says, “More than ever, with AI, companies must protect your information and earn your trust, which goes back to alignment.” Moreover, the fourth tier is devoted to appreciation. Do businesses show enough appreciation for customers? In other words, do customers feel valued and thanked appropriately? 

4. Finally, at the top is “Emotional connection.” Organizations cannot establish loyalty without an emotional connection. Moreover, Hykne believes repeat business comes from customers saying, “I like them; they’re always friendly and nice,” As soon as that happens again and again, why would a customer risk doing business elsewhere?

5. Companies who aim to fulfill their customers’ hierarchy needs can learn from Amazon’s strategy. According to Hyken, Amazon falls on the pyramid because it prioritizes customer satisfaction over selling products that don’t work, even though they don’t manufacture their own products. However, the company stands behind its offerings and cares for customers who face any issues. This is due to Amazon’s commitment to fulfilling its promises, and it has gained the trust of its customers through its frequent outreach and updates.

"As a consumer, you want a company to build that emotional connection with you because it's a competitive advantage beyond a reasonable belief." – Shep Hyken.

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