Apple has reinvented the EXIT experience. Gone are the “long walk” to check out, the line when you get there, and the anxiety of having the only item in the store without a bar code. Your Apple salesperson/information specialist does it all. They simply ask for your method of payment and process your payment on the spot. If it’s a credit card, they swipe it with an attachment on their iPhone. If it is cash or check, it is just as seamless. You continue to engage with them and the device you have decided to purchase throughout. When the exchange of funds is over, an Apple colleague magically appears with your item or they excuse themselves for a moment and return with your device.
From the moment you cross over into completing your engagement, you are in the EXIT phase of the customer experience. This is the fourth of the five phases of an experience.
EXIT: The customer’s EXIT phase are all of the activities associated with the close or the end of the engagement. It is when the customer is in the process of exiting. Typically, this including payment and departure. The customer is moving from shopper to buyer.
Too many businesses give their customer’s EXIT, too little thought. This phase needs to be about smoothly guiding your customer to their transformed state of owner, possessor, user and/or alum. Apple stores do this in a variety of ways. In addition to their instant payment at the point of sale, their product packaging reinforces the brand decision. Your receipt is a choice of paper or email. There is free shipping/delivery online or in the store which reinforces the purchase decision. For those who choose to open their device onsite, there is the additional EXIT experience of onsite, instant assistance in set-up.
Every business provides an EXIT experience; most of them are neutral at best. All businesses would benefit from rethinking their current final customer impression. I recently used the pre-pay valet parking service at a local event. Like most of you, I hoped to get my car back free of new dings and with the same radio station. This time I had an EXIT experience. As the doors opened for the four of us … there were 4 bottles of cold water for our journey home. Proof …you can reinvent any exit experience.
What final impressions are your customers leaving with?
How can you rethink your EXIT experience?