Lisa April-Naidoo

CX Chronicles

The Counterintuitive Path To Profits!

​​Aren’t we all tired of the same old sales strategies that promise the moon but barely deliver?

Well, today, we're changing the script a little bit by adding friction points to the sales process to enhance the customer experience.


Yes, you heard it right – adding “friction points”!

“Friction points'' are major players in a customer's journey; they present speedbumps towards the acquisition or enjoyment of a product/service.

Consider, for instance, the scenario of navigating through an online retail platform. A customer, eager to finalize a purchase, encounters a confusing checkout process or a long wait till delivery, and sparse communication from the company.


Businesses try to avoid these hurdles, however, there are times when friction points bring benefits and thus need to be incorporated into the customer’s journey.


Picture this: you walk into your favourite coffee shop, ready to grab your usual. But wait – there's a long line, and the service seems to be moving slowly on a Sunday morning. You start tapping your foot impatiently, checking your watch every two seconds.


Finally, after what feels like an eternity, you get your hands on that steaming cup of goodness. And let me tell you, that first sip tastes like heaven!


Now, imagine if there was no line, no wait, no expectation. You walk in, grab your coffee, and you're out the door in under a minute. Sure, it's convenient, but where's the anticipation? Where's the excitement? It's like going on a rollercoaster with all the loops and twists taken out – boring!

Believe it or not, the same principle applies to customer experience.


By strategically adding friction points to your sales process, you're not just selling a product or service – you're selling an experience!


So, how exactly do we add friction points without driving your customers up the wall?

Let's break it down through the lens of Behavioral Science:

Friction point- ”Do you want to make it a meal rather than just a burger?”

This is an example of Time pressure bias.


Time pressurebias manifests when individuals feel compelled to make quick decisions due to perceived time constraints. While this can sometimes lead to hasty or impulsive decision-making, it often results in a feeling of justification that they have maximized their benefits while purchasing. Fast food chains capitalize on this bias by prompting customers to make choices swiftly, potentially nudging them towards larger meal options at the last minute before payment. This strategic approach aims to create a perception of efficient purchasing, ultimately elevating the overall customer experience.

Friction point- “To purchase a Hermes Birkin, you’ll have to get on a waitlist”.

This is an example of Scarcity bias & Value attribution.


Scarcity is a powerful psychological phenomenon wherein people assign higher value to items that are scarce/difficult to acquire, regardless of their actual intrinsic value.

Value Attribution drives individuals to covet scarce items intensely, often leading to a heightened willingness to pay or engage in competitive behaviour to secure them.


The above are some of the oldest tricks in the book! Whether it's "only 5 left in stock" or "limited edition," businesses playing the scarcity card can send customers into a frenzy. After all, who wants to miss out on something rare and exclusive like a Hermes Birkin?

Friction point-” You don’t have to create an account, but doing so will help in future purchases.

This is an example of Status Quo Bias.


Imagine yourself eagerly shopping online, as you approach the checkout, you find a seamless process awaiting you, offering the option to create an account for future convenience. Recognizing the value in this choice, you happily embrace the opportunity to streamline your future purchases. With a sense of empowerment, you confidently proceed, knowing that each step brings you closer to a better shopping experience tailored just for you. This thoughtful approach not only enhances your current journey but also ensures effortless shopping for all your future needs.


Status Quo Bias is a cognitive tendency where individuals prefer maintaining their current state or sticking with familiar options rather than embracing change. By presenting the option to create an account as a beneficial choice, businesses strategically appeal to customers' inclination towards maintaining the status quo while also offering a potential incentive. This approach effectively nudges customers to persevere with their purchase journey.

Conclusion

Now, I know what you're thinking – isn't the goal of customer experience to make things as frictionless as possible? Well, yes and no. While convenience certainly has its place, sometimes a little friction is exactly what you need to spice things up and keep customers coming back for more.


By embracing the concept of friction points and harnessing the power of behavioural science, businesses can differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace, ultimately driving growth and profitability while delivering exceptional customer experiences.

LISA-APRIL NAIDOO
SR. BEHAVIORAL CONSULTANT
Lisa-April is an experienced behavioral economics consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the management consulting industry.

Skilled in assisting clients identify key behavioral biases that affect decision-making.
LISA-APRIL NAIDOO
SR. BEHAVIORAL CONSULTANT
Lisa-April is an experienced behavioral economics consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the management consulting industry.

Skilled in assisting clients identify key behavioral biases that affect decision-making.

Follow Renascence on