The first Apple store opened on May 19, 2001, in Tysons, Virginia. Then, the worth of an Apple share was $1.68. Today, Apple is one among the foremost valuable companies within the world with shares worth nearly $200. Apple has since opened 506 stores across 24 countries attracting 500 million visitors a year. When experts analyze what Apple has done right they often specialize in development . Innovative items just like the iPod, iPhone, and iPad created new markets and attracted many customers. However, underpinning the expansion of the corporate is a fanatical customer service culture aimed toward turning one-time buyers into customer advocates. In this post, let's check out how Apple retains its customers and highlight the teachings you'll apply to your business.
7 Insights Learned From Apple's Customer Service
The announcement of Apple iMac in 1998 was a source of controversy and anticipation among commentators, Mac fans, and detractors. Opinions were divided over Apple's drastic changes to the Macintosh hardware. At the time, Apple had suffered a series of setbacks as consumers increasingly opted for Wintel (Windows PCs) machines instead of Apple's Performa models. Many within the industry thought that "beleaguered" Apple would soon be forced to start out out out selling computers with a custom interface built on top of 1 or more potential OS bases,
1. Choose the proper channels to interact with customers.
Apple stores are a central a part of its customer experience since Steve Jobs took over in 1997. Before that, Apple computers were sold through chain stores and other authorized outlets. The corporate wasn't comfortable with this model as Apple severed ties with over 10,000 third-party retailers. Then , the corporate opened the primary Apple store and overhauled its entire website. Service provided by third-party resellers does have an impression on your company's reputation. Apple iMac decided it wasn't comfortable with this trade-off and made the choice to maneuver customer service in-house. This gave Apple control over every a part of the customer experience. This won't be an option for you. If that is the case, consider how you'll support your customers after they purchase your products. this will be done by advertising the channels people use to contact your support team. Social media channels like Twitter and Facebook, are effective options for providing immediate customer support.
2. specialize in optimizing your customers' buying environment.
The transition from third-party sellers to running its own stores gave Apple more control over its customer service. It controlled all aspects of the customer experience from the layout of the shop to how employees interacted with customers. You'll see what proportion thought went into the primary Apple store once you consider its design. The primary store was weakened into three distinct sections: The entrance of the shop showcased the Apple line , weakened by target demographic. The center of the shop was dedicated to samples of how an individual might use an Apple product. This is a part of the shop was weakened thematically with sections for music, movies, photos, and kids. The back of the shop hosted the "Genius Bar." this is often where customers could get products repaired and resolve customer service issues. These three parts align with the ultimate stages of the customer journey. For a deeper explanation of how the shop was envisioned inspect this video of Steve Jobs. This setup ensures customers not only study products but also try them within the store. After purchases, Apple makes it as easy as possible for patrons to urge their problems resolved by offering support within its store. This specializes in controlling the customer experience at the purpose of contact has played a pivotal part in creating Apple's legion of fans. And, given what percentage people at the time expected the stores to fail, this model proved to be surprisingly profitable. At $5,546, Apple stores have the very best sales per sq ft within the US retail market.
3. do not be scared of making changes.
This is probably the toughest lesson. Do not be scared of implementing significant change if you think that it'll benefit your company -- but do so cautiously. You'll see how Apple made its transition in three stages: It reduced reliance on third-party retailers by severing relations with over 10,000 stores. It implemented a store within a store approach, first with CompUSA then with Best Buy. When it saw sales of Apple computers were up, Apple opened its own stores. Each a part of this process was inherently risky. The corporate minimized risk by implementing a marketing plan in each stage. Even so, most of the people at the time thought Apple's retail experiment would be a failure. It could are , but conservatively approaching each risk helped Apple achieve success.
4. Teach your employees about industrial psychology Applied
should play a task in how your reps affect customers. This is often widely known in sales as US companies spend $15 billion a year training their sales teams on customer management and communication skills. A significant portion of Apple's Genius Training Student Workbook -- the guidebook for brand spanking new Apple Geniuses -- looks at people skills. Take the instance below from page 45 that covers nonverbal gestures. Apple-Customer-service-2 Source: Gizmodo These tips transcend a general understanding of visual communication . Almost every conceivable interaction with a customer has been scripted. An honest example is that the Three F's: Feel, Felt, Found. The Three F's are wont to generate empathy with a lead who's mistaken or has bad information. The Workbook includes a scripted example of how this conversation might play out. Customer: The Mac is just too expensive. Apple Employee: I can see how you'd feel this manner . I felt the worth was a touch high, but I found it is a real value due to all the built-in software and capabilities. Apple developed a system of coaching that's supported an understanding of psychology and other people skills. By having this technique in situ , you'll increase your number of stores while maintaining high-quality customer service.
5. Invest in customer service training.
When reviewing the Genius Training Student Workbook, you'll see what proportion effort Apple has put into developing a system for managing customer interactions. The corporate wants to make a positive impression on every customer and understands that the simplest thanks to do that is by training its staff to satisfy those expectations. If you expect your staff to supply great customer service you would like to require the time to coach them. People skills should be a core a part of your support team's new hire training model. Creating this consistency is particularly important for global companies that want to supply a superb customer experience.
6. Create a rigorous hiring process
According to the company's PR department, it's harder to figure for an Apple store than it's to urge into Harvard. Apple features a rigorous hiring process. Counting on the competition for employment , candidates may need to complete five interviews over six weeks before they're selected for an edge . Store owners are taught to think about quite academic qualifications when hiring a candidate. Consistent with Carmine Gallo, author of the book The Apple Experience, two major questions that Apple employees ask are: Can this person provide a Ritz-Carlton level of customer service? Do they display grit? Or to place it differently , could they need gone toe-to-toe with Steve Jobs? When it involves grit, Apple is trying to find people that are determined to realize goals. Additionally, it wants employees who offer critical feedback when necessary. This helps avoid groupthink, which negatively impacts organizations. The outcome of this hiring philosophy may be a diverse workforce who come from very different backgrounds but share key character traits. When choosing who to rent at your business, consider your company culture and your job requirements. Don't let career experience, or an individual's willingness to accept as true with you define who you decide on . Diversity in your workforce and difference of opinion are often a strength that brings out the simplest in everyone.
7. Adopt a customer first strategy.
When you analyze Apple you quickly realize that the corporate isn't after a fast buck. Rather than simply throwing money at ads, Apple has implemented an extended term customer first strategy. The aim is to create a real relationship with customers and reduce customer churn. For example, employees at an Apple store don't have sales targets. Instead, they're trained to interact visitors and sell the A.P.P.L.E. way.
A - approach the person within the store with a customized welcome.
P - probe to know what the person is after.
P - present an answer for the customer to require home.
L - listen for and resolve any issues or concerns the person may need .
E - end the conversation with a fond farewell.
Apple iMac employees even have proactive service features that make guests feel comfortable once they walk into a store. For instance , if you book a meeting to urge a product repaired the worker at the front of the shop will take your information. Then, this information is passed to the Apple Genius who uses your name when introducing themselves. The Apple service model aims to form the customer feel comfortable within the environment. It shares many of equivalent characteristics as you'd find within the hospitality industry because Steve Jobs borrowed the Ritz-Carlton service model. So, do not be afraid to borrow the simplest ideas around you and adapt them to your company culture. When you analyze Apple, you get a way of the company's impeccable approach to customer service. Whether you are a startup looking to grow your website or a multinational enterprise, there is a lot you'll learn from the customer service model Apple has developed.