The Demographics of Happiness

1611_demographicsofhappinessTomorrow I will join millions of Americans in celebrating Thanksgiving. Many of us will spend the day with our families devouring turkey, stuffing, and other savory dishes while watching football games. It’s also a great time to actually give thanks.

I have a lot to appreciate; a wonderful family, a great group of friends, a thriving business, an amazing Temkin Group team, and the world’s best clients. As we know from the positive psychology movement, the act of appreciation creates happiness—and all of that makes me very happy.

Given the holiday, I decided to dig into Temkin Group’s Q3 2016 Consumer Benchmark Study and see who’s happy. I analyzed which of the 10,000 U.S. consumers in our study agree with the statement “I am typically happy.”

This first chart shows data from the 27 states where we had at least 100 respondents. As you can see, happiness ranges from a high of 83% in Oregon down to a low of 67% in Wisconsin and Indiana.

The next set of charts show the level of happiness across different demographic segments:

  • Genderations: The happiest females are 75 and older, while 65- to 74-year-old males are the happiest (85% say that they are typically happy). 18- to 24-year-olds are the least happy, followed closely by 45- to 54-year-olds. Between the ages of 18 and 44, males are happier than females. Females are happier between 45- and 74-years-old.
  • Education: As the level of education increases, so does happiness. Eighty-five percent of those with an advanced degree are happy, compared with only 60% of those who did not graduate high school.
  • Ethnicity: There’s little variation in happiness across ethnic groups. Caucasians are the happiest (73%), but only three points above African Americans (73%).
  • Income: Only 60% of consumers making less than $25,000 per year are happy. Happiness rises with income until consumers’ household income hits about $100,000, after which happiness plateaus around 86%.
  • Family: Married people are happier. Eighty-four percent of those who are married with young children are happy, followed by married people with older children and with no children at all. The least happy people are those who are not married and do not have kids; only 66% are happy.

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Giving Thanks On Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who are celebrating the holiday. I like sharing my favorite Thanksgiving comic…

Turkeys trying to fool blind man with an ax(from

Here are a number of things that I am thankful for:

  • My family. They put up with me… most of the time.
  • My dad’s memory. Although he passed away a few weeks ago, I am happy to remember how my dad enthusiastically embraced life.
  • My clients. Temkin Group is off to a great start; we’ve been lucky enough to have some fantastic clients.
  • My dog Lucy. She had emergency surgery a couple of weeks ago and we thought she was going to die. She’s recovered and back to her old self; greeting me at the door every time I come home.
  • Our friends. We’ve had a lot of family trauma over the last few months, but our friends have been fantastic in helping out.
  • The Celtics. Last year was exciting; and it looks like they can make another run at the championship again this year.
  • Zach Galifianakis and Will Ferrell. These guys just make me laugh.

The bottom line: I hope you find the time to be thankful!

6 Areas Of Thanksgiving For Customer Experience

To everyone who is celebrating the holiday: Happy Thanksgiving!

In honor of the day, here are 6 things for which customer experience change agents should give thanks: 

  1. Poor customer experience. Forrester’s customer experience index (CxPi) shows that most industries do a poor job with customer experience; so there’s a lot of opportunity to make a difference. (P.S. I’m currently working on the next CxPi.)
  2. Engaged employees. Employees don’t wake up in the morning hoping to make things hard for customers; they’re more than willing to get on the customer experience bandwagon. As Walt Disney said: “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”
  3. The customer’s voice. There’s nothing more powerful for gaining alignment inside a company than clear feedback from customers. That’s why it’s critical to create a strong Voice Of The Customer (VoC) Program.
  4. Customer complaints. Every piece of negative feedback represents an opportunity for improvement. Don’t squander this critical asset.
  5. Good customer service. Consumers really care about customer service; these interactions represent critical moments of truth. And those that care about customer service, tend to be much more loyal. So there’s a lot of upside in improving customer service.
  6. Senior executive commitment. Customer experience transformation isn’t easy; it requires a multi-year journey. Sustaining the effort requires strong support from the executive team.

The bottom line: Have a great day… and be thankful!

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