Read the color above. If you paused, don’t worry. Our brains, from learned behavior, have a difficult time dissociating the color from the actual word and vice versa.
Psychologists and marketers can use our built-in defaults to alter your behavior for both good and bad. United Airlines had already increase the number of up-sell options when checking in to a flight through their kiosk. Extra leg room, extra frequent flyer miles, extra oxygen — check. Battle hardened travelers were apparently immune to these up-sell tactics, so what is a cash strapped airline to do? To delay the check-in process even further and frustrate their customers, United Airlines decided change the Yes/Agree button to red.
On the opposite side, companies who automatically enroll their new hires in retirement savings plans are erring on the side of the customer. Filling out paper work to enroll in some future (intangible) benefit ranks up there with other tasks like going to the dentist, post office, or bank. Our avoidance systems go into high alert. By simply changing the default option to and opt-out model, the overall percentage of employees enrolled in such a program increases.
Your website, storefront, contracts, phone systems, and every other customer facing product funnel your customers in a particular direction. The challenge is to keep-it-simple-stupid and use defaults that benefit the customer more than yourself. Choose the other path for your customer’s and the ruse will only last so long, then the jokes on you.