Too Many Choice?

Actions show that we think more choices equates to a better life.  However, too many choices seem to create a less ideal return on investment.  If we focus on a selected group of offerings it creates a powerful pathway to meeting expectations.  An unintentional consequence of too many choices is the more choices the more likely the customer starts blaming themselves if they do not get what they want.  That does not enhance a confluence of purpose.


I received a season subscription packet to a theater company’s upcoming productions.  The materials were beautiful and the options were numerous.  My issues was that I could not decide how to proceed since at least thirty ticketing choices existed.  There was no predefined packages for me to use as a baseline.  Frankly, there were too many choices.  As I considered the options, I heard a television spot for the Boise State University basketball team.  They were running a promotion that no ticket goes unused.  If you buy a package and cannot make a game you simply roll the ticket forward to future game.  It makes the decision to purchase much easier since the commitment is flexible and the system leans in your favor.  I understand an athletic team has far more seating capacity than a theater company.  However, managing the number of options is critical.  If the theater company had provided three options: want to attend one play, the entire season, or customize your own package.  This would have been an easy starting point.  You can provide the suggested path and then let the few who need to create their own package do so.  There is probably a reason that so many fast-food chains allow you to order by a number (at least the last time I patronized one).  Ordering a preselected meal combines a lot of options into a single decision.

How are you helping your patrons interact with your cause?  Does your fundraising material offer a suggested donation?  Does your membership material provide a few clear options with reasonable benefits?  Does purchasing a ticket to an event happen seamlessly and conveniently?  Is it easy to follow your operating hours?  Simplicity is manageable.