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Customers are effort averse too

Do you read the Harvard Business Review daily stat? Recently there was a stat about a phenomenon called "effort aversion."

The stat is from an experiment by researchers David A. Comerford and Peter Ubel, who found that more than one-fifth of the participants selected a boring, easy task over a more engaging, but demanding task, despite thinking they would enjoy the engaging task more.

Hum? Did I read that right?

Yes. That's right. When it comes to job selection, "workers are more likely to prefer an effortful job than to choose it."

While this study focused on job selection and wages, the findings have a broader implication.

Like workers, customers can prefer a company, but decide not to purchase from them. To understand situations like this, companies must capture three pieces of information:

1 – Market share: This metric is a reflection of what customers do in terms of their purchase behaviors. It is used to show how well a company is doing financially against its competitors.

2 – Share of desire: This metric is a reflection of what customers want to do. It is used to evaluate how well a company is doing at meeting customer needs in the market.

3 – Barriers: These explain why customers don't purchase from a company. Common barriers include price, location, and effort.

Customers make purchase decisions based on a variety of factors and companies can influence these decisions by understanding the barriers between what customers want to do versus and what they actually do.


Photo credit: Stan and Ergo comic project

About the Author

Leslie Pagel

Leslie Pagel

As vice president of customer experience, Leslie is responsible for incorporating the voice of Walker’s customers into the solutions development process. To do this, Leslie spends the majority of her time interacting with Walker account teams, clients, and prospective clients to understand their business challenges. She coordinates several listening posts that are used to drive strong client relationships and enhance our consulting and technology capabilities.

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