In Tysons, Virginia, Apple opened its first store on May 19, 2001. At that time, Apple’s stock price was $1.68. Now Apple shares are worth nearly $200, making it one of the world’s most valuable companies. In the 21 years since then, the company has grown to include 506 stores across 24 countries, attracting 500 million visitors annually. Let us know more about ‘Apple Customer Service’.
Apple Customer Service
Analysts often focus on the product development aspect when analyzing what Apple has done well. New products and technologies like the iPod, iPhone, and iPad have created new markets and attracted millions of customers. Its growth is however driven by the company’s obsession with customer service, which aims to help one-time buyers become loyal customers.
As part of this post, we’re going to examine how Apple retains its customers and how they can benefit your business.
Apple’s Customer Support Can Teach You a Lot
1. Determine the best channels for interacting with customers
Since Steve Jobs took over in 1997, Apple stores have been an integral part of its customer experience. The company was previously only available through authorized outlets and chain stores. Over 10,000 third-party retailers were severed by Apple as it did not feel comfortable with this model. Afterward, the company opened its first Apple store and revised its entire web presence.
Your company’s reputation can be damaged by third-party reseller service. Apple elected to move customer service in-house after deciding this trade-off wasn’t a good fit. As a result, it had control over all aspects of the customer experience.
Considering how to support your customers after they purchase your goods is a good idea if that is the case. By advertising the channels through which customers can contact your support team, you can reach more people. Twitter and Facebook, among other social media channels, provide an effective means of providing customer support immediately.
2. Optimize the purchasing environment for your customers
Since Apple started operating its own stores rather than partnering with third parties, it has been able to better manage customer service. From how employees interacted with customers to the layout of the store, the company controlled every aspect of the customer experience. As you contemplate the design of the first Apple store, it is evident how much thought was put into it. Specifically, the first Apple store had three distinct sections:
● Apple products were displayed by the target demographic at the store’s entrance.
● Apple products were showcased in the store’s center, demonstrating how they can be used.
● Customer service issues and product repairs were handled at the “Genius Bar,” located behind the store.
Three parts of the customer journey correspond to these stages. Watch Steve Jobs’ video to learn more about how the store was envisioned.
This arrangement allows customers to learn about products and also try them out in the store. The Apple Store offers support to customers who have problems after they have purchased products from the company.
In creating Apple’s legion of fans, the company has placed a strong emphasis on controlling the customer experience at the point of contact. This model proved to be surprisingly profitable considering how many people at the time expected the stores to fail. Sales per square foot at Apple stores are the highest in the retail market in the US at $5,546.
3. Making changes shouldn’t scare you
The hardest lesson is probably this one. If you believe that significant changes will benefit your business, don’t be afraid to implement them – but be cautious. Take Apple’s strategy as an example:
● Through the closure of over 10,000 stores, it was able to reduce its dependency on third parties.
● With CompUSA and then with Best Buy, the company implemented a store within a store strategy.
● Apple opened its own stores after noticing that sales of Apple computers were increasing.
Throughout this process, there were inherent risks. Throughout the process, the company implemented a marketing plan to minimize risk. Yet, many believed Apple’s retail experiment was doomed to fail at the time. Apple was successful due to its conservative approach to each risk.
4. Applied Psychology should be taught to your employees
The way your reps interact with customers should be influenced by applied psychology. US companies spend around $15 billion on training their sales teams. This is widely recognized as an important investment for companies since it requires a significant commitment from both the sales team and staffing management.
In Apple’s Genius Training Student Workbook, which is a guide for new Apple geniuses, there is a lot of information about people skills. In the example below from page 45, nonverbal gestures are discussed.
Body language tips that go beyond general understandings are presented here. Every customer interaction has been scripted in some way. Three F’s is a good example: Feel, Felt, Found. In order to develop a system of training that’s based on psychology and people skills, Apple developed a system based on a psychological approach. Having this system in place will allow you to expand your store count while still maintaining excellent service for your customers.
5. Put money into customer service training
Apple clearly has put a lot of effort into creating a system to manage customer interactions when reviewing the Genius Training Student Workbook. Training its employees to meet their customers’ expectations is the company’s best approach to creating a positive impression.
In order to provide excellent customer service, global companies need to maintain this consistency.
6. Ensure that the hiring process is rigorous
A spokesperson for Apple told the company’s public relations department that working for an Apple store was harder than getting accepted to Harvard. Its hiring process is thorough. The process of selecting a candidate for a job may take five interviews over six weeks, depending on the level of competition.
In the hiring process, store owners should look beyond academic qualifications. A major question Apple employees ask, according to author Carmine Gallo of The Apple Experience, is:
● Does this person provide customer service worthy of the Ritz-Carlton?
● Do they exhibit grit? Would they have been able to stand up to Steve Jobs?
Grit is a quality Apple looks for in employees. It is also looking for workers who are capable of giving constructive criticism when necessary. By doing so, the company can avoid groupthink, which negatively impacts the organization.
Using this philosophy, we are able to hire diverse, high-quality workers who come from very different backgrounds but share certain characteristics. Be aware of your company’s culture, and its job requirements when deciding on who to hire at your business. Don’t consider a person’s ability to agree with you or their career experience when selecting them. Diverse opinions and diversity in the workplace can be a strength that allows everyone to reach their full potential.
7. Put your customers first
As soon as you analyze Apple, you realize that it isn’t just about making money. A customer-first strategy rather than just spending money on ads has been implemented by Apple. Customer loyalty must be built by building a true relationship with them and reducing customer churn.
Employees at Apple stores are not required to meet sales targets. In contrast, the A.P.P.L.E. trains them to engage visitors and sell.
A – approach the person with a smile on the face and welcome them personally in the store.
P – probe to know the personal interests and needs of the customer.
P – present a way to make the customers feel satisfied and provide solutions.
L -Listen to your clients and take the opportunity to resolve any issues or concerns they bring up with you.
E – ending the conversation on a humble note by making sure to have a nice goodbye.
Guests feel more comfortable when they walk into Apple stores because of their proactive service features. You would provide your information to an employee at the front of the store if you booked an appointment to get your product repaired. Apple Genius then introduces themselves using your name after receiving this information.
Customer satisfaction is a key aspect of Apple’s service model. Since Steve Jobs borrowed the Ritz-Carlton service model, it shares many of the same characteristics with the hospitality industry. You shouldn’t be afraid to borrow ideas from your colleagues and adapt them to your company culture. Personalized user experiences are inextricably linked to customer feedback.
Feedback is essential to Apple, which makes it very easy (and also encourages) for customers to provide feedback. Customers usually experience a personalized experience when using brands’ services. Apple probably wouldn’t have become so successful if they had centered their efforts on making more money. Instead, the brand is geared towards focusing on its customers, and it has paid off by making it the most successful and profitable tech companies in the world today.
In other words, a close examination of Apple’s customer service indicates its impeccable nature.