It’s easy to believe that choice is a good thing for customers.
Doesn’t it stand to reason that more choice means that each customer will be better able to find something that meets their particular needs?
Customers hate choice.
Why? Because choice means thinking, and we avoid that whenever we can (as behavioural economics has proven over and over again).
I was put in mind of this by the latest McDonalds ad campaign, entitled “Grown Up“. In it we see a father and his little girl enjoying a day together, capped of (of course) by a trip to the golden arches.
Once there, dad is totally flummoxed by the new ordering screens, and his daughter steps in to show him what’s what, followed by the caption “The moment they surprise you”.
Dad’s slight bemusement is a familiar feeling for a lot of parents, watching their kids instantly intuit how to use the latest dizzyingly complex technology.
It must also be a sign, I think, the McDonalds has been getting some feedback that its ordering screens are not seen as easy to use. Why not? I suspect because there are simply too many choices.
The choices aren’t new, but customers used to be shielded from them by staff.
One of the big customer experience challenges for organisations, as self-serve and digital journeys become more common, is how to preserve flexibility without overloading customers with choice. In many cases, AI offers a possible solution. More often, we’d be better off simplifying the journey with sensible (and popular) defaults.