Increasingly, experiences that’ll win customers’ favour will be the ones where businesses can reduce their mental load.
With the pervasiveness of technology available today, busy lives are no longer the exception but the rule. We are fitting evermore into the finite hours of a day. Work has escaped the confines of the traditional 9-to-5 with emails interrupting us at all hours.
We have higher expectations of share-worthy social lives that stand out from the norm. And we have the world at our fingertips and in our pockets. All of these factors clamour overwhelmingly for our time and our mental space.
The constant fracturing of our attention means we are constantly juggling things to remember, plan, manage, consider, decide on and respond to. This means more and more effort for our working memory to cope with, all adding to our mental load and overloading us with “life admin”.
Customer experience is already recognised as a key area in which businesses can gain competitive advantage. We already look to remove friction and pain points for our customers by understanding their needs and journeys. Outsourcing their mental load takes this a step further.
An example of this shift can be seen in the service offered by My Food Bag compared to grocery delivery services. Delivering groceries gives time back to customers by removing the need to spend time travelling and selecting items at the supermarket. But customers still have to carry out a lot of mental work – planning meals, and having to consider and choose all the items for their shopping order. This additional layer of work for the customer takes time, but more importantly, it takes up mental space.
My Food Bag removes this mental load and the effort of planning, choosing and deciding – by providing a set meal plan for the week with all of the recipes and required ingredients included. It effectively takes on what many people consider the exhausting mental work of deciding what to make for dinner every night.
To compete in this new world, businesses need to look for ways they can take mental effort away from their customers. And the stakes are high, by reducing customers’ mental overload the value derived can be not only significant for winning customers’ hearts and minds, it can establish entirely new business models.
Could you be taking mental load off your customers?
The first step is to step outside your business and step into your customers’ lives – what is it that they are they forced to remember, plan, manage, choose or do? Identify where you can take that load off them. And then meaningfully deploy new technologies and data in new ways to solve the problems they face – ultimately reducing the amount of things they need to think about and improving your competitive advantage in the process.
- Kate De Marco, senior CRM Planner at TRACK