What is your view on how people make decisions? In this blog post I describe why we at Susan Bell Research think sense-making is such a useful way to think about how consumers, citizens and business people make decisions. For us, it is better than the alternatives, so let's start there.
Recently, the impact of our work was seen at a national level during the Banking Royal Commission where several of our reports were submitted for consideration.
We conduct many projects on emotional, sensitive or challenging topics, connecting with customers who are in difficult or confronting circumstances of various kinds. Our research into emotion-driven decision-making focused attention onto the impact on individuals navigating life-changing decisions about superannuation, retirement and investment.
Deep understanding of the decision making process can enhance the way an organisation addresses the pain points of their customers and stakeholders.
Here are three key lessons we have learned in our work researching how people make difficult decisions, especially long term decisions like whether or not to retire, or whether to invest in a self-managed super fund.
It's great to see that our qualitative customer experience and survey research can have such impact:
Our report describes how consumers decide to buy direct life insurance and how they decide how and what to buy. Our sense-making approach to research revealed how some consumers struggle with their experience. These products are complex so consumer understanding of their features is often poor.
One very simple way to get more out of focus groups is to conduct individual interviews with group participants afterwards. We do them by phone, but any other method would work just as well. We have been doing this for our victims of crime project.The benefits are:
Superannuation members are 'bamboozled by poor disclosure' Productivity Commission deputy chair Karen Chester says - ABC.net.au/news 
Be honest now. You may not ‘bamboozle’ but are you guilty of any of these communication transgressions?