Friction slows things down and makes motion difficult — it’s basic physics. We also know less friction eases movement and increases speed. When things are faster and easier to use, commerce happens.

And, when friction is present, movement slows or worse yet, simply stops.

We see this all the time with technology adoption. Have you found yourself abandoning a website, because you forgot your password and the reset didn’t work? Or the website was slow and you were busy? Or, the app on your phone crashed? Or? Or? Or?

Recently a friend abandoned attending a show with us because try as she might she couldn’t get into the website to buy a ticket. I have been thinking about friction ever since.

Wondering what each of us may be inadvertently doing to create friction for our customers, or even for ourselves? None of us sets out to create friction and yet it happens all the time.

As the economy tightens, perhaps now is the time to hunt down friction everywhere it occurs – with customers, employees, vendors – and seek to eliminate it, so that we can maintain or grow our slice of a perhaps more challenging pie.

Elisa K Spain

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