Earlier this month at Princeton University, I had the honor of being invited to Filene Research Institute’s annual big.bright.minds meeting.  It was an incredibly cerebral event and I found myself wondering what the week would entail as we took a deep dive into behavioral economics and the concept of scarcity – financial and bandwidth (time).  What this means for us marketers is that EVERYONE is stretched beyond his or her capacity in one form or another.


Last week at big.bright.minds, hosted by Filene at Princeton University, we learned about the facets of behavioral economics and how to be good choice architects for our members and customers.  One of the topics that the presenters covered was hassle factors and how even a small hassle, like having to click to another page on a website, can be enough of a hassle to lose someone in the sales process or keep them from doing something they actually want to do because it is too much of a hassle to proceed with the process.


Why?  Because we are all so busy that we don’t have time to do even the things that are really important to us!
The printer in my home office is a great example.  For some reason the other morning, it decided to stop working immediately after I’d printed a single page document.  I had sent two more to it immediately afterward and yet it sat idle for the rest of the day with the documents in the queue.   I was busy with other projects and deadlines so getting out my manual or consulting the help website for HP was too much of a hassle, so I dealt with not having a printer for an entire day because of this hassle factor. 
This hassle factor changed the way I would normally do things that one day because having to do without was more important to me than spending the time to figure out how to fix it.
Get Honest
What hassle factors are your members or customers facing in doing business with you?  Is your loan application process too cumbersome, or does it take too long to get through the call center to talk to a real person?  Unless you put yourself in the shoes of the consumer and remember that most people can’t afford any extra time caused by hassles, you may be losing actual loans, new accounts, and chances to help people who truly want to be helped but can’t be bothered with anything unexpected. 
I challenge you to take an honest look at your organization from inside out.  Ask your staff members what hassles (big or small) are keeping them from doing their jobs or being more efficient.  Honestly assess what things you can do for your customers or members to make their lives easier. 
At the end of the day, we all want more time.  That would make life easier.  More time to spend with those we love and do our favorite activities, or enjoy an extra few minutes of quiet.  If you can do the work to eliminate hassle factors by streamlining your processes, products, and interactions, you can give people the thing that means most to them…time.  
We bring these philosophies to credit unions and community banks all over the country to help them with their strategic planning, marketing, and branding initiatives.  Contact me to learn more about how MarketMatch can help your financial institution define its “why” and achieve sustainable growth in the future.  Don’t forget to ask about our ROI Guarantee – the only guarantee of its kind in the entire financial industry!