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Limit the choices your customers have to make

Friday, 17 January 2014 | By Walid El-Khoury

In my last post ‘Ignore what your customers say, and some…’ I tried to convince you that you may know more than your customers about what they actually want; and to be prepared to give them what they meant to say rather than what they actually told you.


Now how about you limit their options – and make them happy customers?


There are a lot of scientific studies on human behaviour showing that while choice and the freedom to choose are positives, too many options can create decision paralysis amongst customers, and make them feel worse off even after they choose to buy (if they choose at all).


Amongst the negative experiences after they purchase, customers may regret buying all together or they may think ‘What if I bought the other one instead?’


Dr B Schwartz in his Paradox of Choice tells of the series of experiments titled ‘When choice is demotivating’. They paint a telling picture about what happens when shoppers are face with too many options:


Part of the downside of abundant choice is that each new option adds to the list of trade-offs, and trade-offs have psychological consequences. The necessity of making trade-offs alters how we feel about the decisions we face; more important, it affects the level of satisfaction we experience from the decisions we ultimately make.


Products or services?


The tactics of limiting the choices available to your customers (in almost all types of business) has far more positive win-win implications than meet the eye.


And remember that this applies to services as well as to products. In my case, as a business results architect, I sell my clients one (tangible) outcome with only one to three options/prices.


I will have more to say on this topic of choice in my future posts.