might not have warm and fuzzy thoughts when you hear the term “customer
service.” You might flashback to a
time (maybe only yesterday) when you were on hold for half an hour, or you
might picture yourself (maybe just a week ago) aimlessly walking around a
particular store looking for someone, anyone, to help you.
customer service representatives are passive and laid back by nature. If they were more outgoing they’d
probably be in sales. In sales,
you’re trying to score goals (make deals). Customer service is all about goaltending. You’re trying to keep the puck
(customers’ questions/problems) from getting by you. If the puck finds the net—and you don’t provide good
service—then there’s an excellent chance of losing the customer. If a company has a bunch of bad goalies
they probably won’t be in business for long.
every once in a while you’ll see something different when it comes to companies
and their business practices.
Apple—“Think Different”—is one of those companies. They have great products and they back
it up with outstanding customer service.
Apple store on Stockton Street in San Francisco is prime example of taking
service to another level.
The representatives in their blue Apple shirts (impossible to miss) are
outgoing, assertive and proactive. They think and act like salespeople, and they’re definitely not playing your typical customer service type game.
brought me to the store was a mechanical problem that turned out to be my G5’s
fan. I placed just one call to the
Stockton store and was scheduled a time (two days
later) to bring in my computer. When I arrived at the
store I was immediately greeted by a cheerful rep who whisked me upstairs to
Apple’s Genius Bar (technical support).
While waiting for the computer’s diagnosis I surveyed the action. The Apple staff hustled about the busy
store, but I did not see a single customer with that glazed, dumbfounded expression
that says, “Can I get some help here?”
The energy in the store was high, which is understandable since Apple
makes great products, but I couldn’t help but notice that maybe it was the staff
and not just the products that had a lot to do with this almost party atmosphere. The staff enjoyed what they were doing, that was clear. They communicated well with one
another, and they really worked toward a common goal: provide the customer the best service possible.
of this moment, Apple’s stock is doing very well. They continue to offer fantastic products, but it’s Apple’s
assertive and goal-oriented staff that plays a large role in the company’s
success. Maybe other firms (United
Airlines comes to mind) should borrow from Apple’s playbook. It certainly couldn’t hurt.
wasn’t interested in buying an Apple product prior to my visit, but since then
I’ve been curious to see what new lines they have to offer. Without the great customer service I
was provided, I doubt these thoughts would’ve come to mind.