Over the past few years, I will have to admit to becoming quite the Apple fan! I enjoy the technology, but I really think the thing that keeps me coming back is the way that every experience, in product and when in contact with Apple staff, is so positive.
One of my favourite Apple gadgets is my iPad2, which I pre-ordered, and have had since the day it was released! Along with this iPad2, I ordered and have been using a leather SmartCover – red just like the one in the image.
The SmartCover is fun – it adds an interesting versatility to using the iPad2, as well as protecting the screen when not in use, and providing a convenient stand on-the-go.
Lately, its been fraying around the edges, noticeably. So I was in the Bondi area today, and thought I’d pop into the Apple Store and see what they’d say. The staff I spoke to all thought that the fraying was more than what they would call acceptable, and with a 12 month warranty, thought something should be done. They just weren’t sure what, and how (given that I’d ordered it online, not through the store).
Clearly this was a bit outside the normal situation the staff faced, so I was pleased that Apple’s customer service story reigned supreme when a team leader simply went to the shelf, grabbed a new cover (identical), took it out of the box, and gave it to me. He said to leave it with them – they would work out the rest. They didn’t even ask for a purchase receipt, Apple ID, etc. Of course, it is less than 12 months old, but I left a happy customer.
The moral here is that clearly the staff were empowered, in the event of a novel problem, to simply fix the issue from the customer’s perspective, and not bring them into background paperwork and procedural “stuff”.
Well done Apple. I think its far more than the products that make Apple successful in this day and age – its a customer service philosophy that empowers staff to fix problems, and work out the details with dragging the customer into that process.