The ideal is to make buying from us easy for the customer. Yet, using friction as a deliberate tactic can help to avoid buyer’s remorse. If we use friction with careful consideration, we can create raving fans.
A big part of optimizing revenue operations is to remove friction in your customer workflows. To create smooth and efficient customer experiences so that encourages people buy your products and become raving fans.
Which is why it might sound a bit odd, to say that are times when you might want to create a little friction. Adding friction as a deliberate tactic to achieve a business objective. Friction can help create traction.
The biggest reason we might want to do this is to avoid buyer’s remorse. There are other reasons as well. Possibly compliance reasons. Security and fraud prevention. Quality control.
Use friction as a deliberate tactic to avoid churn.
Churn can happen when its way too easy to sign up for something the buyer doesn’t really need. Or maybe doesn’t need right now.
And if it is that they don’t need it right now, then they might never come back when the timing is right. And you have lost them.
Friction can create time for the buyer to fully consider their decision before taking an action.
The simplest tactic is to introduce a confirmation step. On a website this can be a pop-up or confirmation dialog. In real life, it can be a confirmation check box on signing a contract. Another example of this is introducing a double opt-in email. Borrowing from the mailing list confirmation idea, confirming the email address of someone signing up.
Create friction by introducing a decision delay.
Delays are another way to introduce friction. Creating a time delay or action, to give people time to consider the purchase. Specifically give people 24 hours to confirm. Charging their account, the next day, giving them a window to pull out. This works well when it’s an ongoing service that isn’t fully consumed in 24 hours.
Actions can be added in the delay, that reinforce a commitment. Consider an additional step before the transaction completes. Steps like possibly signing up for an account. Or calling a number to confirm. Or take a first step onboarding action.
The call a number tactic is one I’ve seen used on the back end when deleting an account. And when it’s the Telcos that also have a wait to get through the line, it can create a bad experience that helps confirm the desire to leave! Better to do this on the front end. But always make sure the action isn’t difficult to do as well.
A review step is also a good tactic. Something used in shopping carts, when you are taken to a page that allows you to review before committing. A quick click step can be given along side it if you also want to have a parallel option.
Aim to create fans, not annoy
Like any deliberate tactic – it’s something to deploy after careful consideration.
If you are seeing churn, and have a business objective to reduce it, then these are some ideas that can help. If you aren’t then leave well enough alone. You also might want to collect feedback from customers on how the process is working. And then act on the feedback.
There is a balance to seek here. You want to balance avoiding impulse buying with frustrating your buyers. Both can create an unhappy customer.
Always consider that the end result is that you want to create raving fans, that come back again and again.