Even though hyperchoice has been a hot discussion item in the retail industry, it hasn’t received much attention in professional services industries. After writing a whitepaper on the topic for an analytic software client, we started thinking how our professional service organizations could benefit from understanding the trend.
Even if the word hyperchoice is foreign, the concept will be familiar.
Hyperchoice occurs when the sheer mass of selections causes a buyer to get frustrated, lengthening the research process and/or abandoning the purchase altogether. We often assume that the more choices, the better. However, according to an University of Texas study on the psychological effects of consumer hyperchoice, it often leads consumers to experience confusion and regret. Research shows that when given less options, customers make decisions quicker, with more confidence and experience less post-purchase regret.
Reducing Hyperchoice in Professional Services
Limiting options in order to increase sales might seem counterintuitive at first, but really requires applying a different mindset to your marketing approach to potential customers.
1 – Focus on Referrals
Regardless of the sophistication level of your typical customer, everyone gains confidence in a decision when they receive a referral from a trusted source. Recommendations often cause a purchaser to limit their set of options to only those where they were referred.
Efforts to develop strong referral partner relationships are proven to produce significant returns. Be creative in how you reach out to referral sources. What motivates these professionals and would make them feel special? How can you get their attention? Invite referrals to a special event at your facility. Send them something they could use in their business. And don’t forget to stay in touch. One-time actions are soon forgotten.
2 – Simplify Your Proposals
A great opportunity to simplify your customer’s decision is the proposal process. Yet all too often, a proposal is viewed as an opportunity to showcase all you can do. Remembering the effect hyperchoice can have on your audience and don’t overwhelm your buyer.
If you’re at the proposal stage, your prospect already knows your breadth of services. Take advantage of this chance to showcase how your most relevant solutions will impact them. Demonstrate that you listened to their needs and keep it short. Don’t try to sell every service. Your customer will appreciate your efforts to simplify their decision.
3 – Customize Your Message
You probably already use targeting and segmenting in your marketing. Customization of your message is another step in this process. Regardless of your communication method, there is no reason to send the same message to everyone. Tailor your content based on the recipient, their industry or demographics and their needs.
Small steps such as using variable print options to customize a brochure based on the recipient’s background can go a long way. On your website, be sure prospects can find valuable information, specific to their situation, quickly.
4 – Get Back to Basics
Above all else, don’t forget to be the trusted expert that you are in your field. Nothing can replace face-to-face communication where you get to know someone, understand their needs and use your service expertise to recommend the appropriate solution.
– Meghan Mayer Martin, Burkhart Marketing Associates
Want to learn more about reducing hyperchoice and increasing your bottom line? Contact Burkhart Marketing Associates and discover how we generate measurable returns for professional service providers.