Paradox of Choice

Monthly Mash and Fewer Choices, More Happiness

Welcome to the Monthly Mash, a mashup of tools, tales and tips on customer service and the customer experience from around the blogosphere.

VOLUME 35: September 2014

Thoughts on the Customer: Fewer Choices, More Happiness

In keeping with the theme of today’s Monday Motivation (subscribe here) — simplify — let’s review the key findings of Barry Schwartz’s book The Paradox of Choice and their relevance to customer experience. Essentially, Schwartz puts forth proposition that if you reduce the number of choices a customer has, two important things will happen:

  • The customer will be more likely to make a decision (purchase)
  • The customer will be happier with the decision (purchase) he or she made

Paradox of ChoiceThe discussion has more layers, of course, but these are the two findings customer experience leaders seem to have taken away from Schwartz’s work. While recent evidence has thrown some of the paradox of choice into question, it seems to have only truly called into question when the dynamic is true, not if it is true at all. (A great explanation from Schwartz himself is here.)

I’ll leave the research debates to the scientists. I have been observing and practicing choice minimization on a personal and professional level for many years now. It is the epitome of anecdotal evidence, but if you ask me, in most cases, fewer choices makes for happier customers. There is a limit and a balance that needs to be considered, but at the heart of reducing the hassle-factor for customers is the idea of not overwhelming them with too many options.

Everything contributes to being easy to do business with, even your product or service offerings.

The Month in Customer Service Blogging

A collection of the best posts about customer service and the customer experience we read this past month.

Someone Was Listening

Sometimes the most popular post from the previous month; sometimes just the one I liked best.

We’ve all run into them as customers before, service reps who were so bad that we could hardly believe someone placed them in a customer-facing role. It has led us all to ask: Is Training Hopeless for Some Reps?. In this post, we offer our answer.

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By Adam Toporek. Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and workshop leader. He is the author of Be Your Customer's Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines (2015), as well as the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog and co-host of the Crack the Customer Code podcast.

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