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Home 5 The Intuitive Customer Podcast - CX Podcasts 5 Why Some Friction In Your Experience Is Good
Why Some Friction In Your Experience Is Good
Home 5 The Intuitive Customer Podcast - CX Podcasts 5 Why Some Friction In Your Experience Is Good
Why Some Friction In Your Experience Is Good

Why Some Friction is Good

We owe you an apology. Even though the lawyers say we shouldn’t say this, we feel we might have misled you on the subject of friction in your Customer Experience strategy. We have been telling you to make your experience as easy as possible, and you should. However, there is some merit to making things a little bit difficult in some cases.

In other words, it turns out that the discussion of friction is more nuanced than we at first led you to believe.

In this episode of The Intuitive Customer, we dive a little deeper on the subject of friction in Customer Experience, what kind is detrimental and what kind is beneficial, and the qualities of the friction that can help you tell the difference.

We encourage you to make your Customer Experience as easy as possible, and we stand by that. Having an experience that is convenient and simple for people will be one of the reasons they form a bond of customer loyalty. However, we also think some friction in an experience can be a good idea based on customer behavior.

Do you remember the days when you first heard a complicated order of Starbuck’s? You likely heard words like Venti, half-caff, and Frappuccino, as well as particular focus on the “number of pumps.” Starbucks regulars have a language they speak, and they all understand each other.

The language at Starbucks is an example of good friction. The fact that regular customers took the time to learn the language of ordering indicates that they value that friction in their experience.

Ikea furniture is another example. The cheaply made (and likely lopsided) pressboard bookshelf with at least one piece turned the wrong way is a lot more valuable to you after you spent four hours assembling it on your living room floor. Plus, there is the fact that you saved a lot of money by assembling it yourself.

These are examples of good friction. However, there is bad friction, too.

Bad friction is the type of challenges that arise because the organization is focused on operations instead of customers, or worse no one cares enough to fix it for customers. Bad friction is long hold times on the phone, poor user experiences on the website, and adversarial return policies, to name a few.

It is imperative that you eliminate bad friction first and foremost. Then, when you have make it as smooth as possible for customers to do business with you, you then look for deliberate ways to add friction that increases the engagement of customers with your brand.

Listen to the podcast in its entirety to learn more about Why Some Friction is good for your Customer Experience.


The Intuitive Customer podcasts are designed to explain the psychological concepts behind customer behavior.

If you would like to find out from one of our CX consultants how you can implement the concepts we discussed in your organization’s marketing to improve customer loyalty and retention, contact us at

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