Does Your Organization Create Decision Fatigue?


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Henry Ford, the famed American entrepreneur, had a surprising recipe for success. Ford, known for his irony, once said that his customers could buy any color of car they wanted as long as it was black. Today the reverse is true, but it can hurt your organization. Offering too many choices can actually reduce your sales.

The phenomena known as “decision fatigue,” explains this counterintuitive phenomenon. As a person makes a series of decisions, it tires the brain (even though this fatigue is largely subconscious). The more decisions a person has to make, the more reluctant to decide she or he becomes. Usually, the person will choose the simplest choice, no choice at all.

I’ve experienced this first-hand when I visited an electronics retailer for a webcam. I was given my choice of 40 different types of webcams, each with slightly different features and components. Altogether, I had to process hundreds of minute details – just to buy a webcam! I decided not to bother.

Decision fatigue directly applies to the customer experience. Allow the customer time to “think” with a clear head by closing the deal first, and putting the most important choices about a product or service at the beginning. An important distinction is that limiting choices is different than restricting choices. A balanced approach gives customers the opportunity to feel autonomous and in control of the decision-making process without overwhelming them with too many options.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Colin Shaw
Colin is an original pioneer of Customer Experience. LinkedIn has recognized Colin as one of the ‘World's Top 150 Business Influencers’ Colin is an official LinkedIn "Top Voice", with over 280,000 followers & 80,000 subscribed to his newsletter 'Why Customers Buy'. Colin's consulting company Beyond Philosophy, was recognized by the Financial Times as ‘one of the leading consultancies’. Colin is the co-host of the highly successful Intuitive Customer podcast, which is rated in the top 2% of podcasts.


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