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Friday, November 23, 2007

The Ultimate in Customer Service

How can you not be impressed with the way Apple packages their products? It’s obvious they put a lot of effort into the “user experience” all the way through to the opening of the boxes and the packaging of the components. But now I’ve personally experienced an even more remarkable touch.

Today Apple offered a one-day holiday shopping sale, both online and in the stores. If you’ve ever been to an Apple Store, you know that you don’t want to be there around holiday time. They are packed with people on “off days” … imagine what it’s like around the holidays.

As an iPhone customer, I had my $100 store credit to use and decided to buy iWork ’08 to build some newsletters I’ve been roughing out. So, while shopping online, sure enough it was on sale “today” (great marketing tactic), but I couldn’t easily figure out how to use my iPhone credit pay for it. They obviously wanted my credit card information.

At the top of the screen was an “Apple Store Chat” link. I thought I’d click the link and just see what happened, this being Black Friday at 5:30 pm (prime shopping time). Within one second of hitting that link, I get a message that reads, “Hi, my name is David G. Welcome to Apple! How can I help you?” This has got to be a standard form reply, right?

So, I fire off “How can I use my $100 iPhone credit for this purchase I want to make online?” Immediate on my “chat window” I see that “David G is typing a message”. Now I know I will be met with a barrage of questions like what am I trying to do, what page was I on, and so forth. What I see 20 seconds later takes me completely by surprise.

From David G: “To use the credit, on your screen you should see a button Change Payment Method. Click on that. It will bring you to a page where you can enter your iPhone credit info.”

Wow. So, I thank “David G.”. He responds with, “You’re welcome. I will keep the chat window open in case you have further questions about your order.” Turns out I do have a further question. On the final confirmation page, I can’t see where it indicates that my payment method is via the store credit and not my credit card. So, I reply a minute or so later that I do have another question. David must surely be busy with another customer now. Nope, within 1 second, he responds with “Sure, what’s up?”

I ask my question, he tells me exactly where I missed it, and I go on to complete my order. I thank him again, and he concludes with “Thank you for visiting the Apple Store. We appreciate your business.” Truly impressive. Well done Apple.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Anthony - it's Connie. Wow - that experience with Apple is TRULY amazing. I can imagine that you would provide a similar level of customer service (and resulting satisfaction) with your Personal Technology Concierge product.
I wonder how many service reps they have, that enable them to provide such great service? Wish Dell was like that ...
Thanks for a great blog article!