Apple has maintained a prime status amongst professionals, ordinary consumers, and techies alike over the years. This massive following manifested itself in Apple’s performance in the tech market, becoming the go-to device across several industries. More than the capabilities of its products, Apple’s lead over competitors lies in another critical area—customer service.
The brand has consistently maintained a high Net Promoter Score (NPS), a number determined by a company’s growth and customer loyalty. NPS considers both positive and negative feedback, increasing or decreasing a company’s score. This means that every type of feedback from Apple’s loyal following has contributed to the brand’s overall success.
This article will dive deeper into how Apple has leveraged its users in its marketing strategy.
Customer Feedback and Apple’s Success
Feedback plays a major role in how Apple continuously improves its products and services. Below are some ways Apple gathers feedback and uses it to its advantage.
1. Using customer surveys
Apple takes advantage of feedback surveys to gather sentiment from customers. While the practice isn’t exactly unique, the brand takes it one step further by timing these surveys at critical moments.
For each purchase made with Apple, a customer is sent a survey immediately after via email. If the customer visited a physical store, they are asked to rate their in-store experience at the point of transaction.
This timing allows customers to share their immediate feedback while the transaction or purchase is still fresh in their minds. As a result, Apple can gather accurate feedback at a faster rate.
2. Working to improve the Net Promoter Score
NPS is a crucial metric for Apple; thus, it has integrated the NPS into its best practices for gathering feedback.
The feedback surveys given to customers upon purchase and during in-store visits are carefully designed with NPS in mind. These surveys carry an embedded Net Promoter Score question, followed up with an open-ended question that allows customers to leave more detailed thoughts on the product and transaction.
The brand has also used its newly-released Apple Watch to gather NPS responses for measuring customer satisfaction.
By focusing on the specific metrics for improving the Net Promoter Score, Apple gains valuable insights that it can use to give customers a more positive experience. In turn, this helps the company maintain a high NPS.
3. Reaching out to detractors
It’s no surprise that Apple has had its fair share of negative feedback. However, this has also allowed the brand to create a system to help address problems and convert detractors.
As customer surveys and NPS sentiments are regularly reviewed, negative feedback is taken into consideration. Store managers and employees have daily meetings to review the NPS and offer solutions for problems recorded in the feedback.
Within 24 hours of completing these surveys, store managers contact detractors to get more details on the issues they encountered and how they could be improved. The insights are then shared with the rest of the employees to tweak their best practices for customer interaction. These steps have helped the brand convert detractors into customers.
4. Solving customer problems as a team
The example above shows that both store managers and employees regularly review customer feedback. They work together to come up with solutions to address the problems brought up in the negative feedback.
By solving problems as a team, pain points are resolved quickly, making it easier for Apple to maintain its quality customer service. Additionally, with more people working together to solve customer problems, more creative and out-of-the-box solutions can be applied.
5. Opening lines of communication for help and support
Apple makes it so much easier to ask for help and be heard. Feedback surveys are given in-person, through email, and even on a customer’s Apple Watch. Need to contact a service representative? You can reach one through online chat, emailing the support team, or even have them call you directly.
When things become difficult for a customer, or if a situation has soured their opinion, Apple provides this vast array of channels to let customers get the help they need or voice their opinions. As a result, customers are getting effective results from their actions.
How Apple Ensures Positive Customer Feedback
Knowing how much work Apple puts into gaining and using customer feedback, these efforts culminate into three general categories:
1. Provide a positive personal experience
Apple focuses on creating a holistic, positive experience for each customer. On a device level, this is apparent even in the latest iOS updates.
The Apple ecosystem provides a smooth experience that integrates all devices and apps, making it simpler, safer, and more convenient to switch from one Apple device to another. It also ensures that Apple-to-Apple device interactions can happen without a hitch. Even older or secondhand devices like refurbished MacBooks can take advantage of this experience.
Additionally, every step of the customer’s journey with Apple—from buying a product and shipping to getting support, handling returns, and more—is consistent throughout. Customers can expect the same service and attention to detail no matter what part of the journey they’re in.
2. Focus on customer satisfaction
The biggest reason Apple pays close attention to its NPS is to continuously improve customer satisfaction. The factors that determine the NPS provide a clear guideline for Apple to better address any problems and issues that may arise.
Apple makes it incredibly easy for customers to give their feedback or get help for any issues. They also directly address negative feedback, using it as a learning opportunity. As a result, the brand can enact changes that improve customer satisfaction.
3. Keep branding and marketing simple
Steve Jobs famously said, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” This philosophy has been at the core of Apple’s developments since its humble beginnings.
The brand relies on its intuitive, fuss-free design and user experience to develop devices that are simple for a wide range of customers. Even the packaging for Apple devices showcase the same simplistic yet effective design.
On the marketing side, Apple has moved towards both showcasing the simplicity of its devices and keeping the look and feel of its marketing in line with its core philosophy.
At the end of the day, it’s clear that Apple’s attention to detail and drive to continuously improve has paid off. Customer feedback is the cornerstone of keeping them happy and convincing detractors to become supporters.
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