All’s well that ends well

In the same way as a play often keeps some surprises back until the closing scene, the experience at the end of the customer journey often becomes a lasting impression. A good ending can even help wipe away the memory of previous irritations.

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Have you ever heard of the concept of peak-end rule? This refers to how people often evaluate an experience on the basis of how it ends. Unconsciously, people are not assessing the delivery as a whole, but rather their experience toward the end, when the narrative reaches its climax. This is an experience every company would do well to study.  By making sure that the end of the process leaves the customer with a positive feeling toward the brand and the experience, it is also likely that general customer satisfaction will increase.  

The peak-end rule was shared with the general public by the Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman, who described the concept in his thesis “When More Pain Is Preferred to Less: Adding a Better End” from 1993. Daniel Kahneman also discovered that the length of the experience had little impact on the overall impression – if it is positive. Customers who like what they see will often come back again. The optimal result is to create a narrative and an experience that flow smoothly without stumbling or becoming boring.

New payment solutions are helping to streamline e-commerce, but this does not mean that the purchasing experience is faultless. If a potential customer has difficulty finding where to go on the website or gets stuck halfway through, the purchasing experience will be negative – and there is a risk that it will not actually lead to a purchase. This means it is essential to remove as many obstacles as possible from the path. 

One company that has taken this to heart is the e-commerce giant Amazon. Many of us have become used to scanning our purchases ourselves when we leave the local grocery store. But the newly opened Amazon store has taken this to a whole new level by removing the checkout terminals completely.  Customers who have the Amazon app can simply pick up their goods and leave, which naturally makes the purchasing process easier and more flexible.

By being attentive to negative comments from customers and making sure they are dealt with, you can create lasting positive experiences that drown out the negative ones. If you are aware of customers’ emotions in every stage of the customer journey, you can identify strengths and weaknesses. The objective is to give customers a whole host of memorable experiences and a happy outcome.