As promised in this week’s Customer Care Tip I’ll be sharing some of my learnings from last week IPPA conference on Positive Psychology (P2). If you are wondering what the link is between P2 and customer care and loyalty – it’s this:  “Positive Psychology is the scientific study of what enables individuals and communities to thrive.” That’s in total alignment with our mission to help create positive, customer-caring companies that thrive. We teach leaders and individuals to create more positive capacity – more positive emotion in organizations and with customers.


Put on your customer hat for a moment – how do YOU like to feel when you are spending your hard earned money? Happy, appreciated, valued, important, special, secure, content, fulfilled? Angry, frustrated, disappointed, pissed?


That’s right – most sane people would opt for the positive emotions every time. Having just experienced a major disappointment in a potential supplier this morning – I can tell you it really stinks!


Back to the positive stuff – Here is a little more of what I learned at the conference.  Ed Deiner captured my attention with his talk about circumstances and how they DO matter. Some of my earlier training downplayed the part that circumstances play in happiness. Ed says that there are huge differences to how people adapt to things. When I teach people about the “adaptation response” – that’s what makes us get used to the raise in pay or the new benefits way too quickly thereby negating its power to motivate – I use the “average” numbers in the research. Ed’s work – which goes deeper than the data says that everyone does NOT automatically adapt.


Ed’s a social psychologist and well as positive psychologist and believes in the power of positive organization and institutions to create the situations that are important to well -being. Hear hear! He says we need societies that help produce happy people.


Over breakfast this morning I read an Inc. magazine article about Zappos that had me practically choking on my cheerios – Tony Hsieh the CEO studies happiness – the same stuff I do. One of the first questions he asks people when he meets them is “On a scale from 1 – 10 how happy are you?” Yikes! Now, there’s a man who wants to get to know you.


Tony is building a positive society and does appear to have happy employees – I know he has happy customers. It begs the question – what are you doing to create more happiness and well-being in your organization (and in your own life.) It is with your control. Tony’s company – which started out selling shoes – hit $1 Billion last year. Can’t wait to see what he does this year.


Happiness is not a single thing – it’s about it’s about life satisfaction and positive engagement in doing things you enjoy and that use your talents and strengths.  Looks like building a billion dollar biz is making Tony happy.

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