I recently came across a great video on the TED Talks website about the paradox of choice and it struck a serious chord with both Vincent and I in terms of how we think about FreshySites and how we can do our best to make our customers happy while we build long-term relationships with them. The video is a talk by a woman named Sheena Iyengar and it is titled “How to make choosing easier.” In it Iyengar covers a ton of ground but there are a few big points I think that are worth mentioning.
Too Many Choices
We have many many choices to make each day. In the video Iyengar mentions that the average US citizen makes 70 choices a day and the average CEO makes much more than that. I assume for most people in small business the number of actually daily decisions falls somewhere between the two. With this many decisions to make, it is our job as service providers to make the choice options and decision making process simple and straight forward for our customers so they know what to expect if they do choose us.
No Choice at all
One very interesting take-away from the video is that when customers are faced with many many options the percentage of them making no choice at all goes up! That means, no decision to move forward with any of the options, simply because there are so many to analyze and think about. By trimming back our options and offering simple and easy to understand products we are helping customers move forward and get something real accomplished.
Categories and Structure
When someone is faced with 80 options split into 4 diff categories of 20 they think the decision making process is easier than if they had 60 options but all in one category. We need to organize options and services for our customers and keep them well informed with how things work in a way that is simple and makes sense. Iyengar makes it a point to say that even when it is mandatory to have many options it is important to organize and categorize in a structured way that makes sense and makes it easier on your customers. This is an idea we are taking to heart at FreshySites as we design websites.
There are many other great points that Iyengar has in the video, I encourage everyone to watch it and think about it in the context of their own business or project, chances are there are some great ideas that we could all apply to better serve our customers and take some of the decision making off their hands.