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People like to be in control. It’s a fact that we are all used to. Feeling in control promotes a much better sense of contentedness with a given process than one in which one feels one has no control. Take the other day, for example. I was buying something online. Half way through the process, I realised that I wasn’t happy with how the purchase was going.

To begin with, I couldn’t quite work out why. Then it hit me. I didn’t feel in control. I didn’t know how many steps were left to complete my order. Would I suddenly commit to purchase with my next click? I was clueless. So I stopped my order. It was as simple as that.

If I couldn’t trust the company to keep me informed as to where I was in the ordering process, could I trust them if, for example, I came to have to return my product. Would I be left in a similar limbo? This, you could argue, small detail put me off my purchase.

Take a lesson from this. Constantly tell me where I, as a customer, am. Reassure me that I’m not going to place an order by clicking a button. Conversely, make sure to tell me when I have placed my order. Don’t leave me uncertain at any point as to what my actions are going to do. Make me feel in control of what is going on and I’ll be much more likely to buy from you. No matter how good your prices seem, how swish your site is, I’m not going to buy from you if I feel like I am not the one in control of my actions.

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