What makes you “like” a business? What makes you love one. What makes you feel you’re a valued and enthusiastic part of an entire ecosystem that forms that enterprise?
When building a customer experience, it’s easy to cherry pick. It’s easy to gravitate toward the part of the experience that is most obvious or the one that’s most personally interesting to you.
When putting together a retail experience such as a brick-and-mortar store, a restaurant or a winery tasting room, everyone puts a LOT of thought and effort into the initial impression. The visceral feeling of the “unveil” is hard to resist. Who doesn’t love a good “voilà moment?”
I’m not agitating for undervaluing that part that part of the experience but a flush of excitement that fades is common. Ask yourself this: Would you prefer a customer loving you most on the way IN or loving you most on the way OUT of your business?
One of my favorite customer experiences to be had is at the Apple Store. Every second of the customer experience has been tailored to put you in the proper frame of mind. The precision look of the stores with their reliance on glass and modern design set your expectations as you approach. The eager staff that greets you as you walk into the often crowded stores has the right balance of clean eager nerdiness to make you feel like it’s a place of endless possibilities that will be quickly curated to your particular need.
If all customers walking in were there to primarily do one thing, the Apple Store would not be so amazing. But a person looking at a $3000 MacBook Pro, one looking for a charger cable and one looking for repair services all have needs for a vastly different experience. Triaging that quickly is key so that the superior experience for the unique use case starts immediately.
More often than not, customers walk out of an Apple store not feeling gouged by the incredibly high profit margins but with a feeling that “you get what you pay for.” They often walk out with a – some would say smug – feeling that they’re part of something special. Statistically, Apple customers are among the most loyal in tech and the customer experience building to THAT feeling is a huge part of it.
How do you want your customers to feel when they walk out of your business? Build your customer experience from back to front. How they felt walking in is important in teeing things up but how they feel leaving is who you are to them.