Apparently more people now visit Apple's 326 stores in a single quarter than the 60 million who visited Walt Disney's four biggest theme parks last year!
How do they do it? As well as having customer friendly environments, intensive training for employees, and of course, great products, a key element of their success is the culture that they have created, and crucially that they keep reinforcing that helps deliver consistently great customer experiences.
For example, employees are told (and trained) not to sell, but rather to help customers solve problems. "Your job is to understand all of your customers' needs-some of which they may not even realize they have," one training manual says. Interestingly, employees receive no sales commissions and have no sales targets.
This is just one of the key elements highlighted in a great article in the Wall Street Journal that gets to the 'core' ('core', geddit?) of Apple's great customer service, and gives some great insights.
Apparently Apple gives it's people clear guidelines on what to do, and how to do it, when it comes to dealing with customers For example, its "steps of service" are spelled out in the acronym APPLE:
- Approach customers with a personalized warm welcome
- Probe politely to understand all the customer's needs
- Present a solution for the customer to take home today
- Listen for and resolve any issues or concerns
- End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return
It's simple stuff, but it certainly seems to work! There are lots of other insights in the article, and it's well worth a read.
My take from it is that it's clear that Apple are a great example of a business that creates and reinforces an UBER culture - that means.......
- Everyone Understands what's expected of them and behaves accordingly and consistently as a result
- Systems and processes are Built to create consistently great customer experiences and reinforce that culture
- People are Engaged, Empowered and Encouraged to deliver them
- People are Rewarded and Recognised for doing it!
Click here to read an article I've written on this stuff if you're interested.