It was a few days before Christmas and the malls were incredibly packed. My eldest daughter needed a new Apple laptop for college and I was going to get her one as a Christmas gift.
Apple’s in-store customer service is legendary and I would soon experience it firsthand. I went to Victoria Gardens, an outdoor mall near my home in Southern California. I walked up to the entrance of the Apple Store and the first thing I saw was that the place was wall to wall people. No, really – I’m not exaggerating – it was literally wall to wall people. I think if there were any more people in that store the Fire Marshal would have had to empty the place.
I stood at the door and was dreading the idea of going into this packed store and waiting forever for service. I took a deep breath and walked through the entrance. I was no more than two steps into the store when I was greeted by an Apple employee. I expected her to instruct me where I needed to go in order to take a number and wait for service. Instead, she said, “how can I help you?” I was a little surprised but, I told her what I was looking for. While standing in the middle of the store she paged someone from a mobile device. She told me he was the expert and could set me right up with what I needed. After a few moments Chris was standing next to me answering my questions.
Within minutes of walking through the door I picked what I wanted. Chris swiped my credit card with his telephone and instantly sent the receipt to my email address. The entire transaction was done in a fraction of the time I expected in a store that was busier than I thought possible.
A good friend of mine, Stewart Emery wrote a book called “Do You Matter?” A major premise of the book is the idea that customer service is all about the “experience” people have in the transaction of business. I’ve been to the Apple store a few times now and I can say with conviction that each time has been an amazing experience in customer service.
Another thing Stewart talks about in his book, which the Apple company seems to truly understand, is that “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” The Apple culture of customer service is light years ahead of any other computer company I have done business with – period. No computer company has come close to giving me such great customer service (some other computer companies even rank amongst the worst service I’ve ever had).
Well done Apple. I will be back again… and again, and again.
If you’ve had a similar customer-service experience, I’d really enjoy hearing it. Please leave a comment and tell me about it.