Mar 28, 2023
Today I welcome Roger Dooley to The Brainy Business
podcast for a refresh of our conversation about his book Friction.
Featuring this discussion was inspired by Richard Shotton's new
book The Illusion of Choice, which has one chapter about “making it
easy” and then another on “making it difficult” (and you’ll hear
all about it on Friday). This perfectly aligns with Roger’s book,
Friction, which is all about understanding the psychology of
friction and how it can be used to optimize customer experiences.
That made it the perfect refresh candidate for this week!
While reducing friction is often best and what most
businesses need, sometimes there is also value in adding friction
in the right places. For example, in What Your Employees Need and
Can’t Tell You, I suggest introducing a 30 minute waiting period
before sending emails can help to avoid mistakes.
As you listen today and think about Friction, consider
your own experiences — where can they be easier? Where should they
be more difficult? I know that seems a bit counterintuitive now,
but some thoughtful friction is really valuable in the right
places. Listen in to learn how you can use friction in your own
- [00:39] Today’s episode is all about friction,
specifically, a refresh of the conversation I had with Roger Dooley
on his book Friction way back in November 2019.
- [01:44] As you listen today and think about friction,
consider your own experiences — where can they be easier? Where
should they be more difficult?
- [04:04] The cover of Roger’s book, Friction,
intentionally had a coarse / gritty texture. It was meant to convey
a sense of friction. (Priming!)
- [05:35] Roger shares about himself, his background,
and the work he does.
- [07:40] The interaction of neuroscience, behavioral
science, and business has always been fascinating to him. His
blogging, podcast, and books have given him a chance to explore
that and simplify it for people in business.
- [09:22] There has been an increase in business
interest in behavioral science.
- [11:46] Change is hard, especially when humans are
- [12:57] 95% of the time businesses have too much
friction in their processes.
- [13:49] There are times when adding friction helps.
In general, it is best to eliminate it. Amazon is a prime example
- [16:27] Friction is an unnecessary effort to complete
- [18:29] Amazon makes it so that 99% of the time or
more you are simply using the one-click button to ship a product to
your home address or office address. That makes it a low-risk
- [21:46] People don’t look at the cost of the
processes they create. When looking at the total time, cost, and
effort compared to the amount you would lose, there’s no
- [23:29] Where there is high trust there is low
- [25:08] Often we create processes that are designed
to make things easier but they don’t really work that
- [27:51] How many people are going to be affected by
this and how can we make things easier?
- [30:08] In general, if you are trying to maximize
leads or sales, making the process as simple as possible is the way
- [33:08] By giving them that “out” you relieve the
pressure and they are more comfortable complying with the
- [35:54] Buffer took all the friction out of
scheduling social media. They made it simple to get
- [38:34] Rather than seemingly correct the person and
imply that they didn’t work at it hard enough they avoid the word
- [40:46] Loyal customers are better and more valuable
than new customers. Low-effort experiences drive
- [42:38] They are comparing you against their best,
lowest effort customer experiences.
- [43:57] You are endangering the loyalty of all those
customers you can not handle in that instantaneous and efficient
- [46:54] Sometimes eliminating useless parts of the
process is the best way.
- [48:34] As you look to decrease friction you will
start to notice it all around you.
- [50:27] Melina’s closing thoughts
- [52:41] Remember, you are a human doing business with
humans inside your company and with your customers — trust and
humanness and a reduction in friction can go a long way in building
an amazing business.
Thanks for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe
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