Introduction to Mindsets: Disoriented

This is a part of a blog series where I will take you through the five mindsets of a digital customer. By tapping into online behavior and interpreting what our customers are saying and inferring, we can drive real business outcomes that positively affect their experiences. 

Being disoriented is rarely a positive experience – and if it’s a customer on your website, it’s definitely not good. As I’ve discussed before, customers can become disoriented after having absolute clarity earlier on their journey to purchase. So it’s important to remember that one experience is made up of lots of little experiences. 

The founder of Behavioral Economics and Nobel-laureate Daniel Kahneman differentiates between two selves: the ‘experiencing self’ and the ‘remembering self’. These ‘selves’ represent, in psychological terms, the two ways people interact with stimuli. 

Consider this – a moviegoer is moved to tears and laughter several times during a two-hour film, yet finds the ending illogical or confusing. What will his overall recollection of the experience be? Experience, as Kahneman claims, is defined as positive or negative by the remembering self, according to the journey’s final moments. Yet, I’ve learned that in the digital world, experience can be equally defined by the emotional intensity along the way. The moviegoer is very likely to consider his experience positive, despite his disappointment with the ending, owing to the powerful feelings it elicited.

On a website, customer experience is determined both by the end game and by the emotional intensity during the journey (level of frustration, for example). A disoriented customer could be bored and frustrated in equal measure, with their actions being erratic, and their attention moving from place to place within a page.

To limit any damage that could be caused to the relationship with customers, it is crucial to take both of the two selves into consideration, ensuring that there are more positive interactions overall to shape the customer’s potentially negative memories of the site.

A real-life example

Company: An online retailer.

Problem: Customers are journeying to the checkout page and then abandoning the process.

Analysis: If we think about this mindset physically for a moment: A confused customer comes into a store and wanders around, if they can’t see what they are looking for, they will leave. It’s the same for digital – a disoriented website visitor will make a lot of mouse movements and scrolls, hover over different links without clicking, and will drop off the page completely if the path to purchase isn’t clear.

Conclusion: Just as if we were in a store and there was a rack of clothes blocking the way of the checkout desk, we need to consider the same digitally. What are the barriers to purchasing? Make this checkout page much more considered by removing unnecessary information, ensuring checking out is as easy at the process that has come before it. Does the design of the page need to be addressed?

Is the form asking for too much unnecessary and sensitive information, all at once? Don’t throw obstacles into the path to purchase, and only ask for the necessary information – this thinking, and the resulting changes, will result in customers being less disoriented.

More on mindsets

To explore the other mindsets that customers can have on your digital properties, click on the images below:

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