There’s a reason why Apple is a leader in not only technology but customer service too. They actually provide the vehicle(s) needed to service their customers’ needs. It’s not based on what Apple wants but on what their customers’ need. Here’s how I found out.
I purchased a new iPhone 6 Plus on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. After the initial plinking with my new toy I put it to rest so I can visit family for the holiday. On Friday I returned to my investigation of my new gadget. All went well.
But then it happened…
Just like the old dreaded “blue screen of death” from a computer running Windows 95, my phone froze-up and I was left with an expensive paperweight. Oh no!
I contacted my trusted friend named Google.com to find an answer. But I didn’t like what I was told. The operating system needed to be rebooted. Oh no, again.
I just finished adding most of my contacts to the phone as well as many setting changes – I didn’t want to lose them.
By now it was after 5pm on the busiest shopping day of the year. There was no way I was going to be able to reach anyone at the Apple customer service for help. But I had to try.
Note: I consider myself a “realist”, someone that understands when something can reasonably happen or when it is all a fantasy – a pipe dream and never to come to fruition. But I “had” to try…
I went on Apple’s website and entered my phone’s serial numbers and identified what the issue was. Then, I received a prompt asking if I wanted a call back from a customer service rep. Yeah sure, “they’re never going to call me back” I thought. I entered my number and pressed “OK”.
Three (3) seconds later my phone rang – you guessed it. It was a recorded message from Apple’s customer service department. This can’t be…
I was thanked for contacting Apple and given a choice of music styles to listen to while I waited. Wow, that’s a nice touch. I pushed the button for classical hoping it would calm my nerves while I wait forever on the phone only to probably get disconnected an hour later.
Then it happened: 3 minutes later “Edward” came on the line saying hello and told me he was here to fix my issue.
Now, to say the least I was impressed; not on how quickly Edward walked me through the needed steps to reboot my phone and get me back up and running but for this:
On the busiest shopping day of the year, Apple has enough employees working their customer service phone lines to answer my call after 3 minutes and provide me with a prompt fix.
No wonder why Apple’s considered one of the top customer service businesses.
Their website is designed for easy navigation and to collect the needed information to address the issue.
Too many businesses design their store or website based on the “look” or brand image they wish to express. But the actual shopping experience must take precedent over the look. If you can accomplish both, you have a winning design.
You’re given the option to use multiple ways to contact a service representative.
- Online chat
- Send email to the support team
- Have them call you for direct vocal support
Full service support must consist of numerous methods of contact. You can’t just provide an email address and expect your customers to sit back and wait for your return message.
Their support software allows for an automated call back.
This is a tough one. I doubt most businesses can provide this unless they have deep pockets like Apple. But for those that can, do they? Are they actually interested in an “immediate” remedy for a customer’s problem?
They have enough employees working to service the anticipated business volume.
This is one of the biggest measures of customer service success. Who cares how good your service is if you don’t have the employee coverage to offer it when needed? Then, are you really even providing good service?
Too many businesses focus more on the upfront sale and not how to provide the post sale service.
Their service team members are trained properly and empowered to see the issue through to its resolution.
When revenues fall training is postponed or eliminated. You must understand the value in highly skilled employees and provide the motivation and positive work environment needed to have them service your customers in need.
Your products, brand image, store location, uniqueness and price are all major factors leading to the success of a business. But,
never forget that service and the customer experience is the driving force behind a GREAT business.
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