The Six Key Traits of Human Beings (Video)

One of the most important – but often forgotten – elements of customer experience is that it’s all about human beings. Customers are human beings, employees are human beings, and executives are human beings. This video identifies six key characteristics to keep in mind whenever you’re dealing with all types of people.


CX Sparks: Guides For Stimulating Customer Experience DiscussionsThis video is a great introduction to a discussion with your team. That’s why we’ve created a CX Sparks guide that you can download and use to lead a stimulating discussion.


Video Script:

One of the most important – but often forgotten – elements of customer experience is that it’s all about human beings. Customers are human beings, employees are human beings, and executives are human beings.

So if you want to improve customer experience, you need to understand and embrace how human beings actually think and behave.

But human beings are complex and can be difficult to fully understand. That’s why Temkin Group has identified Six Key Traits of Human Beings, which you will need to keep in mind at all times.

Six Key Traits Of Human Beings

First of all, human beings are INTUITIVE. People have two different modes of decision making. One mode is rational, which is slow, logical, and deliberate. The second mode is intuitive, which is fast, automatic, and based on biases and a set of heuristics, or rules of thumb.

Human beings make almost all of their decisions using the intuitive mode, but organizations focus most of their attention on customers’ rational behavior. You can better meet customers‘ needs by catering to their intuitive mode.

Human beings are also SELF-CENTERED. We look at the world through our own personal perspective, which, because of our unique life experiences, is totally different than anyone else’s.  This individual perspective often separates employees and customers, as employees are more familiar with their company than customers are. This knowledge gap frequently causes miscommunications and a lack of empathy. Once we recognize our self-centeredness, we can take steps to mitigate the issues it creates.

Human beings are EMOTIONAL. We remember experiences based on how they make us feel. Our memories are not like video cameras, they’re more like an Instagram account where we take pictures whenever we feel strong emotions, and then we judge that experience in the future based on reviewing those pictures. That’s why it’s critical to proactively think about which emotions an experience is likely to generate.

Human beings are MOTIVATED. We all strive to fulfill our four intrinsic needs: a sense of meaning, control, progress, and competence. So when we think about the people who work for us and with us, we need to spend less time focusing on their compensation and more time helping them fulfill their intrinsic needs.

Human beings are also SOCIAL. We want to connect with other people who are “like us,” and we tend to trust those people more than we trust other people or institutions. So to create good experiences, we should not only recognize that people’s social groups are an important area of influence, we should also help employees and customers build meaningful connections between themselves and each other

And finally, human beings are HOPEFUL. We flourish when we envision a positive future. So you can motivate employees, leaders, customers, and partners by painting a picture of future success that addresses their needs and aspirations.

Make sure to focus on these Six Key Traits of Human Beings whenever you are thinking about customers, employees, leaders, or partners. It will allow you to better influence their behaviors and fulfill their needs.

If being customer-centric matters to your organization, then why leave it to chance? Contact Temkin Group, the customer experience experts, by emailing info@temkingroup.com, or visit our website, at TemkinGroup.com.

Written by 

I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and Emeritus Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

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