Have you ever wondered why Apple has such a strong and passionate following in comparison to other computer manufacturers? Designing the most innovative products surely plays a huge role. Apple understood already early on to connect with clients in a more genuine way, resulting in closer relationships.
The first Apple store opened in 2001, and for readers that were around at the time, the store was a far departure from any other computer store. Friendly, knowledgeable staff that was eager to assist and able to communicate in a not too technical fashion. The store design focused on clients - minimalistic and uncluttered, displaying relevant products that everyone could try out. Wow! Some 20 years later, Apple stores are still running on the same basics. As most of Apple business is conducted online, they have been able to create a sense of community through all communication channels. Many businesses have followed Apple's example of how to connect with customers and how to nurture relationships.
So in short, Apple got it a long time ago. But to keep this early vibe alive, they needed to find a way to spread this message across all levels of the organization.
Apple uses different platforms to communicate and engage with customers. From its social media pages and email to the Apple Support Community, Apple is sure to get in touch with its customers somehow, which is why its net promoter score (NPS) remains high.
The A-P-P-L-E Customer and Community Engagement Strategy
One notable aspect of Apple stores is its customer-friendly environment. Each employee seems to have the most helpful demeanor when dealing with the customer, whether new or regular.
Aside from the great products they have, this is one of the elements that make Apple so successful— they make it easy for customers to form a relationship with them and constantly reinforce these relationships to ensure great experiences.
Apple instructs its employees to follow a set of guidelines when interacting with customers with an acronym that's easy to remember.
- Approach customers with a personalized, warm welcome.
- Probe politely to understand the customer's needs.
- Present a solution for the customer to take home today.
- Listen for and resolve issues or concerns.
- End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return.
The definition of each letter in the A-P-P-L-E strategy trains employees to help customers instead of selling. Apple employees are instructed to understand the customers' needs, even if sometimes they themselves don't know they have this need.
It is said that Apple employees don't receive commission or have sales targets; they genuinely want to provide and uphold the Apple customer experience.
Apple ensures that customers can reach out to through a variety of communication channels. Apple support communities such as forums allow users to interact with one another and express concerns or provide feedback.
Apple's Strategy in Action
Approachable avenues of communication
One of Apple's most notable efforts to listen to its customers is through its avenues of communication. Apple has open and approachable communication channels to encourage customers to speak with them, such as social media.
Since social media is more informal than the traditional email or call, Apple users, especially younger ones, feel more comfortable expressing their concerns and feedback in a more familiar medium.
A focus on fast and consistent responses
A great thing about the A-P-P-L-E strategy is it ensures that for every concern, there is a solution. The company focuses on providing fast and consistent responses because they know that every customer concern is critical, no matter what Apple product is used or needed.
Even better, when a customer sends in a negative review, an Apple store manager follows up with the customer over the phone and will try to resolve the issue within 24 hours.
Maintaining a positive or upbeat communication style
When Apple took to the internet to extend its customer service, the brand ensured that it wouldn't be short of anything a customer would experience in-store. Apple Geniuses and store personnel are instructed to keep a positive, upbeat attitude when dealing with people in-store, so it only makes sense to carry the same over to the digital medium.
This adoption made Apple's reputation for outstanding support expand into its new customer channels. The tech giant makes sure that it doesn't use generic responses; It identifies and acknowledges the problem, expresses its desire to help the customers, and promptly gives a solution so that they get the most value out of their Apple products.
Creating a community with the Apple Support Community
This is probably one of the most well-known efforts of the brand to provide accessible help for its customers. The Apple Support Community provides a space for all Apple users to express concerns and feedback to one another.
The great thing about this is that all accounts are from genuine Apple users. Their experiences serve as a guide or review for others who've had the same experience or have yet to try Apple products. The Apple Support Community does not only provide answers for problems, but it builds connections—ones that only Apple users will know.
Acknowledging and listening to feedback
Apple makes it a point to gather customer feedback at key points of the buyer's journey. It usually sends out surveys via email to ask about their in-store experience and the condition of the actual product. Apple uses these to measure sentiments and identify items that need improvement.
Making the store more than a store
Apple is taking its customer service to the next level. Its retail stores are redefining stores, making them far from just gadgetry. Retail Chief Angela Ahrendts says that they are reinventing the roles of Apple stores and their employees in the community. They envision the stores to be more like a town square, where people sharing the same interest and the best of Apple come together.
Reinventing Customer Service
Apple is a tech giant, and one of the most recognized brands. While its success is something all businesses aim to achieve, it's the unparalleled customer service that people come back for. Through constant communication, active listening, and an approachable strategy, Apple has managed to capture members of a community and loyal patrons of its products.
Macs4U strives for the same ideals; being very approachable and providing the best products and services. When you contact us, you will immediately speak to an experienced Apple certified technician - and not to Sales. They are trained to answer just about anything Apple. Our focus is always on our clients - no one has ever worked here on commission. Post purchase we are continuously happy to assist and even offer a free support session if needed.
If you're looking for an affordable way for your business to be a part of the Apple ecosystem, Macs4U can do that with refurbished Apple products. Contact Macs4U today to learn more about these products!