Can your front line team provide a Great Service Exit?

The opening keynote was preceded by the safety briefing for the large banquet hall attendees.  It was the usual “in case of fire” cautions and instructions.  It dramatically and clearly called attention to the exit signs over the doors completely invisible in an otherwise “take it for granted” perspective.  The flight attendant on the airline does the same “notice the exits” speech before every flight.  Every movie at the theatre asks the audience to “please find the nearest exit in case of an emergency” before the main feature begins.

Great service has great exits!  We all enjoy the convenience as well as speed of self-service and automation...when it works.  But, if we are caught inside with a less than satisfactory experience, we need a great exit.  Great exits include cross-trained wait staff able to swing into action when your server seems to have disappeared.  It includes supervisors and managers who can take over for a front line person who unexpectedly needs to abandon his or her post.  Great exits are the capacity to easily and rapidly change delivery channels or get seamlessly passed to another agent without requiring the restatement of all the information just given the last person.

Have you noticed that your customers have changed?  Their expectations have increased over dramatically in the last 12 months and they keep increasing!  They are continually raising the bar on how they view customer experience.  They are looking for service providers staffed with well-trained teams who consistently deliver service experiences that drive loyalty!  Service providers focused on delivering GREAT service!  The kind of service that takes the customers’ breath away!  Customers today are Fickle--much quicker to leave if unhappy.  They not only show a lower tolerance for error, they will exit just on account of plain old indifferent service.  The hype of a brand name means little in deterring the disappointed customer's exit.

Great service exits have the same features as other effective exits in our lives.  They are there when we need them.  They are easy to spot.  They are avenues for getting us back to normal.  And, they are brought to our attention before a “service fire” breaks out in our encounter.  What steps are you taking to create and manage the service exits for your customers?

© Chip Bell Group, 2023.  Courtesy of John R. Patterson (  Permission is given to download and distribute this article as long as it contains this copyright notice.