Psychology is the science of the human mind, it seeks to understand and explain thought, emotion, and behaviour. How can we apply the knowledge provided by psychology to the business arena, in particular to the way we engage and communicate with our customers, with a focus on improving the quality of our business relationships with our clients?
One of the objects of psychological study is the topic of relationships: studying the psychological aspects of developing and maintaining relationships and how they give meaning, structure and purpose to life are pivotal in understanding human beings. Relationships can be important sources of inclusion, acceptance, affiliation and often help significantly during emotional crises and life transitions. They also have a significant role in the formation of our social identity and self-concept.
Relationships are also extremely important when it comes to the success of your business. Regardless of the type of services or products that you provide, your success depends on the quality of the interactions and relationships you build with your clients and prospects. Brand management, marketing, PR and customer service are ultimately about building and maintaining successful, positive and lucrative relationships with clients.Susan Fiske has identified five “Core Social Motives” (2004) describing the fundamental, underlying psychological processes that impel people’s thinking, feeling, and behaving in situations involving other people. The five core social motives are:
A basic assumption of this theory is that underlying all of the basic needs is an evolutionary process that has led to these characteristics of human nature because they promote survival of the individual through belonging in groups. Although this kind of imagined evolutionary, survival-oriented thinking is not logically a required aspect of a theory of basic needs with a root need structure, in fact such thinking has been employed in the development of all root need theories.
This theory lets us analyse motives and needs at the social level of analysis and helps us to understand why people seek to build relationships. How are your customers relating to your brand? How can you (your business) provide for these core social needs? In what way can you apply this knowledge to your situation, to what you have on offer to your clients?