Saturday, September 27, 2008

Welcome to the Mac Family

And that is what they said to me. I didn't just buy a computer, I was invited into a community. From the minute I walked through the door, I could see that this was going to be a very different experience to all the other computer buying expeditions that I have been on.

I walked through the doors armed with all my "research" tucked under my arm, looking like I meant business. But I wasn't attacked by sales staff, just welcomed with smiles and greetings. They left me alone with their stuff, they didn't hassle me and they didn't try to intimidate me with their infinite technical knowledge. The store and customer service delivery was designed as if they wanted me to stay and play.

Now I'm not going to do the Mac Vs PC thing in this blog, it's Apple's customer service style that I want to draw attention to. The key winning features are:

1. Making the customer feel welcomed, not like a potential thief
2. Assume that the customer already knows what they want
3. Well trained staff that love as well as understand their products
4. Stores designed to welcome customers to touch, feel and experiment with what they are about to buy (yes, humans are basically curious, sensuous, tactile creatures)
5. Understand that if the customer doesn't buy today, they will come back and buy tomorrow if the exploratory experience was positive
6. Create a sense of community and belonging; that this is not a once-off purchase, but a relationship that will go on for years.

This was the best customer service experience I have had in years. And this is not a model that is difficult to replicate. So I think to myself, all those businesses offering crappy customer services, do they really want, or deserve, to be in business at all?


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