Why is After Payment Emotional Experience (APEX) the most dangerous time for retailers? 

It’s a responsible retailer’s duty to ensure customers are satisfied with their buying experience post-purchase, be that for goods or services. This includes the retailer’s return and refund policies, complaint registration process and how complaints are dealt with. So why is After Payment Emotional Experience (APEX) the most dangerous time for a retailer?

The effects of a bad APEX.

Put simply, this is when a business will either lose a customer or retain one. This makes this period absolutely crucial in terms of the impact it has on sales and reputation/collective customer satisfaction: this is particularly true when you consider that acquiring a new customer is five times more expensive than retaining a current one. 

A poor APEX is likely to discourage customers. About 26% of customers view bad return processes as one of the things that can make them avoid a retailer. In a study on Generation Z customers, approximately 61% of consumers were shown to be more likely to tell their peers about a bad shopping experience when compared to those aged above 65, which further demonstrates how critical ensuring a positive APEX is for retailers.

The experience customers have with retailers.

Retailers need to make customers feel that they are cared about, even after making a sale. Since about 34% of customers feel that businesses do not care about them, retailers need to show this care to customers to improve customer experience. Among the ways that retailers receive more customers is being holistically understanding of each individual customer – so creating an easy and responsive feedback process and a simple returns system, for example.

Long checkout processes at mini-POS terminals, rude staff and difficulty in getting the correct product all contribute to poor customer experience and potential loss of customer. This demographic sees the trading process as a contract that needs to be respected. Businesses should, therefore, maintain a good APEX to maintain and attract more customers, thus transforming the APEX from a dangerous period of the customer journey to one that is ultimately constructive for both retailer and customer.