That One Thing That Makes Apple Successful (and It’s Not Their Gadgets)

Apple Inc. has come out as one of the most known mobile technology provider and we witnessed how people go gaga over every product they have. Apple Inc. has set the bar so high, they created an entire new standard in mobile technology.
They know how to create hype that will translate to huge revenue—and it is unlocked the moment they unveil their newest item. From that moment on, Apple need not to work so hard with their advertising because the buzz of these products become in-depth tech articles, videos and the like, made by people—from tech experts to die-hard Apple fans— far more effective than any marketing strategy. However, we’re not here to discuss how great Apple products are or how good their marketing is and why they cannot be trumped by rival Android no matter how hard they try.
What we want to highlight on is how Apple Inc. is able to make a loyal customer out of every buyer.
So much so that they would camp out for days by the Apple store, regardless of weather, each time a new Apple product is out on the shelves. Recently Apple released into the market their newest babies—the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and a sneak preview of the Apple Smartwatch.
Thousands of people flocked to the nearest Apple store to get their hands on these precious (and this scene is the same all over the world). While product quality and performance (not to mention status symbol) are what people go for in sticking with Apple, there’s one more thing that people love about this brand.
The iPhones, iPads and Macs are impressive, but what really took our breath away is how Apple caters to their thousands of customers coming into their stores all at once! Not to mention the support they provide to them before and after each purchase. Yes, we are talking about Apple’s customer service.
Apple Inc. has proven themselves game-changers, not only in technology, but also in customer service. Their customer service training may seem familiar and no different than what we already know. But what sets them apart is the internalization of their customer service core values by exceeding customer expectations, from its store structure to the people that customers interact with.
Let us break down for you how this top technology provider reign superior in their customer service delivery:

 1. Apple not only mastered design, but focused on customer experience as well.

According to Arthur Matiossian (CEO of Pheebo, who also previously worked in an Apple store in L.A.) when the very first iPhone came out, there were a few iPhone units which had some issues. When customers came in to report them, even if it’s just a pixel in their phone or they just want a new one, they replaced the units with bran new units right away. This customer service stuck with him ever since—and he’s not even the customer!
He also mentioned that when you make it right with customers and give what they want, the business will take care of itself. Apple invests more on making it the best experience for customers from the product design to the actual user support provided.

2. Apple established their customer service culture.

According to Carmine Gallo (an expert on Apple employment training) in her book The Apple Experience, Apple employees are trained to help customers have an enriching experience more than selling the product. And their customer service delivery is summed up in this very apt acronym (emphasis ours):

  • A – pproach with a personal, warm welcome
  • P – robe politely  to understand all the customer’s needs
  • P – resent a solution for the customer to take home today
  • Listen for and resolve issues or concerns
  • E – nd with a fond farewell and an invitation to return

Though another company inspired this with outstanding customer service (Ritz-Carlton Hotel), Apple was able to adapt and transform it to be a culture that is uniquely their own. With this simple acronym, every employee can easily remember how to interact with each customer that walks through their doors with excellent service.

3. Apple gave their employees an identity.

While technical Apple knowledge gives you an edge to be hired in the company, Apple wants applicants who naturally have a magnetic personality and a happy-to-serve attitude. And when you are in, you become the brand. That is why Apple employees are called “specialists”, as revealed by Gallo, because they invest in making their employees the experts of the products and technology they have.
Why they even have a “Genius Bar” in their stores! Armed with this much training, Apple employees are confident to face any customer who is having issues and provide them with satisfactory support. The company empowered its employees by branding them with a title that gives them authority and ownership. Because of it, every employee gives out more than 100% in their jobs because they feel valued and see their huge contribution to the company as a whole.
Matiossian also said that when customers come into any Apple store, they won’t feel like coming into a store but entering their home. That is because these specialists have helped create a community for customers to be comfortable in—specialists reveal  Apple “tricks” and provide immediate solutions, customers share with them what they are currently working on using Apple items, and so much more. Basically, it has become a haven where you can open yourself up and be an Apple geek without being judged.

4. Apple empowers their customers and makes usage and processes simpler.

From the product design and specifications to the technology in Apple products, Steve Jobs was able to achieve his objective of making it easier for the consumers. Its user-friendly and simple design clicked with the customers as it does the very function they need it for—nothing more, nothing less. They have created products that have their own purposes which lessened the confusion of customers in understanding technical complexities.
But of course, if they need further assistance with their wares, Apple has made it even more convenient for customers not only through their specialists but also with the support site they created for them,  which also includes a personal support site where every Apple customer can get to know their products better—from the list of Apple wares they have and its warranties, to troubleshooting sources and connection to the Apple support team. They even have a One to One program that aims to build a customer for life by investing hours of personal training for a year to make them proficient with the gadgets they have purchased.
Again, Apple has eliminated the complication by carefully studying how they can make processes better for their customers. And because of this mindfulness, people are willing to spend so much for an Apple.

The Apple Customer Experience

Apple Inc. is one of those companies who have made customers their top-priority, which is why they are rewarded with much love from them too. They respond accordingly to the needs of their customers and each time they do it, the customers’ loyalty to their brand is sealed more than ever. And with stories like these, we are not surprised that Apple customers become lifetime patrons of the brand:

  • A customer got the shock of his life for receiving a brand new iMac in replacement of his faulty one.
  • Their employees showed high regard for this 10-year-old customer  who saved all her birthday money to buy an iPod.
  • This customer received a stellar service support for an old MacBook Pro even if it was beyond warranty.
  • When his wife said “No”, Apple turned it to a “Yes”.

With the kind of customer service they offer, no wonder people would invest their money in an Apple gadget. The combination of their products’ functionality and the customer service they deliver certainly makes a winning gold. And that is the reason why we see eager crowds outside Apple retail stores each time they put the “Open” sign up.
(Photo Source)

 

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James Patterson
James Patterson

James Patterson, Head of Business Development, Global Corporate Clients joined transcosmos in 2007. He oversees business development and sales and marketing initiatives throughout the EMEA and APAC regions for transcosmos IT and Customer Support Services, managing a team of sales professionals and consultants in these territories. James fully understands and supports the requirements and challenges of complex IT Support and Customer Service environments, having guided an array of large organizations through the consultative process of developing complex solutions to fit the customer’s needs. Previous to transcosmos, James was a regional Sales Manager in the Health and Leisure Industry winning many awards for exceeding sales targets and being innovative.


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