By Justine Eden, Director
Last weekend while in the city for the purpose of birthday gift shopping and with the family in tow, I took an opportunist detour into the Apple Store. My iPhone 6 has a glitch in it that means it randomly switches from silent to not – which I find disconcerting. Being the control freak I am, the thought of my phone ringing during a crucial meeting means I have to continually turn it off.
Like the Catholic Church – the Apple stores have the best real estate and this one was no exception. Still early in the day, the store was already packed and the merchandise was gleaming with a seductive allure. The strategically placed door greeters had eager smiles and iPad’s at the ready. I explained my phone’s glitch and was asked whether I had an appointment, to which I replied that I had been passing and taken the opportunity to drop in with the hope someone could take a look. I was told to go over to the service area and book an appointment and that it would probably be in an hour or so before someone could see me.
Oh Apple! When did you morph into Telstra? There was a time you just strolled into a store and had 3 Apple repair geeks so keen to help, you ended up buying another product.
I’ve been a Mac user since university, when I started my business in 1996 it was a Mac we used and we have operated with them ever since. Oh how we were ridiculed back then however some time, say around the early 2000’s – Macs became cool. Maybe it was the multicoloured ones they brought out, I loved my black Mac Book Pro with its buffed surface, now I am addicted to my iPhone, iTunes and Apple TV.
Apple is defined in my opinion by innovation agility and edge, the “book an appointment” approach was so Coles deli counter and not what I expected. Apple to its credit will at times listen and change – okay so maybe you need to be Taylor Swift to get their attention but it’s worth a try. A company is defined by its culture, the customer experience and responsiveness, along with a quality product or service. I’ve always rated the service experience I’ve had at Apple – but now they’ve got me worried.
We don’t need any more monolithic corporate giants who are so removed from their customers they misread signals and under deliver. If you’re like me you get energised from a great customer service experience because it’s so rare. It’s a vibe you get from the moment you walk in, the place hums and the people are engaged and they want to help you. The systems operate below the surface so you don’t even notice them but they ensure a consistently high level of satisfaction.
I still need to get my phone fixed so I’m giving it another try, or maybe I’ll just settle and “make an appointment”?