Test how angry this retirement planning client really is


What do you want to know

  • Some researchers believe that anger helps consumers optimize the decision-making process.
  • Angry consumers might buy faster and be more satisfied with their purchases.
  • Rising costs and political unrest give customers plenty to be angry about.

COVID-19, geopolitical unrest and the gloom hanging over Washington have all contributed to the bad mood in the United States.

The overall unemployment rate in the United States was just 3.6% in March. Prices may be rising, but so are wages.

Despite these encouraging economic facts, 75% of American adults who participated in the last Gallup Satisfaction Tracking Surveyin early March, expressed dissatisfaction with the way things are going in the United States.

Joshua Gritter, a pastor, recently wrote an opinion piece for The Presbyterian Outlook with the title “What to do with all the madness you feel? »

For insurance and retirement professionals, the answer could be: Helping clients plan better, faster.

The Rage Factor

Typical finance professionals and their compliance advisors can be wary of consumer anger. But, in some cases, the customer’s anger can be helpful.

Michal Maimaran, a research fellow at Northwestern University’s School of Business, and his colleagues have examined the role of anger in consumer decision making in an article published by the Journal of Association on Consumer Research in 2019.

Studies have shown that overall, “anger results in both less susceptibility to contextual choice biases and greater post-choice satisfaction,” say the researchers.

The studies looked at situations such as the effects of seeing pictures of sad, angry, or neutral faces on laptop choice, and the effects of emotional manipulation of University of Miami students who were given asked to choose between two laptops, two flashlights and two restaurants.

Findings from these studies and others summarized in the article imply that “emotional inputs may lead consumers to form their decision criteria in a more goal-oriented and top-down manner rather than a bottom-up the product or attribute,” Maimaran and his colleagues write.

Comparative analysis of anger

Here are questions that could be used to arrive at a rough estimate of customer and prospect anger, compared to participants in seven recent surveys of consumers, workers and savers in the United States.

1. Over the past three months, has the customer’s level of credit card debt increased?

Organizers of the Primerica Middle-Income Financial Security Monitor survey found that 25% of 980 online survey participants said their credit card debt had increased. Participants were 18 years of age or older and had an annual household income of $30,000 to $100,000.

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