Last week I wrote about Chewy and the special way they treated a customer at the end of Gus’ life. It was a great example of the Peak-End Rule.

Nobel Prize Winner Daniel Kahneman coined the Peak-End Rule. It is based on his belief that we judge our past experiences almost entirely on how they were at their peak (whether pleasant or unpleasant) and how they ended.

According to Dean Crutchfield:

“Designing for the peak-end rule is another way of not focusing on what is less important, but about focusing on what brings the most value to the customer experience. In other words, make sure that your peak and end is memorable, branded, and differentiated.”

You never get a second chance to make a last impression.

Translation: You need give the customer something to talk about right before they leave, hang up, or log out. 

One of the foundations Purple Goldfish Strategy is the idea of leveraging recency. They say (whoever “they” are) that customers tend to remember the last thing they experience.

Credit to Adrian Swinscoe for featuring the following story of Virgin Holidays in his tremendous book “Punk CX.” 

When Pauline Wilson started her role as Operations Director of Virgin Holidays, she went undercover with her Marketing Director on one of their own holidays, to experience it through the eyes of their customers.

One of the biggest lightbulb moments from their trip came when their customers kept telling them how much they didn’t like the last day of their holiday.

Not because they hadn’t had a great holiday, but more because after they had checked out of their hotel, they were left with time to kill and little access to any facilities before heading off to the airport to catch their flight home.

Overall, they felt forgotten, and that, after they had checked out, the company had switched its focus away from them to the new arrivals.

That was a real wake-up call for Pauline and her colleague and made them realize that the finish of any experience is just as important as the start.

That insight helped them develop a new concept: The Departure Beach.

This involved a dedicated Virgin Holidays beach lounge at the hotel, which aims to help their customers get the most out of the last day of their holiday.

Are you overlooking the end of your customer’s experience with you?

What could you do to make the end of your customer’s experience better?

Adrian summed it up best. What are you doing to improve the last experience your customer has with your brand? 

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Stan Phelps

Stan Phelps walks the walk. He stands out in the sea of sameness by modeling his own Differentiated Experience (DX) message: Differentiation isn’t just about what you say, it’s about what you do and, more importantly, how and why you do it. Stan leverages his unique collection of 5,000+ case studies on customer, employee, and brand experience to engage audiences with informative learning-based experiences. He believes purposeful DX wins the hearts of employees and customers, and differentiation ultimately boosts loyalty, retention, referrals, and results.

Find Stan’s in-person and virtual keynotes, workshops, and Goldfish tank programs at