Customer care

Good customer care is solving your customer’s problems. Great customer care is when you don’t solve their problems and they still feel like they’ve received great service.

Apple’s customer care is awesome. There’s a reason why have once again topped the American customer satisfaction index survey for the seventh year in a row and I experienced it this week.

My wife dropped her iPhone 3GS which cracked the LCD (although, strangely not the external glass). My iPhone 3GS also had a problem (actually I’ve suspected almost from the outset that something was not right with it’s internals but it’s testament to just how good it is, when flawed, that I waited till now to do something about it) so I booked up some sessions at the Apple Genius bar last Saturday.

Wife was originally told that she’d need a replacement phone. Turned out not to be the case, they simply replaced the broken LCD.

My phone it turned out did have some dodgy internals and was replaced under warranty.

Fast efficient and friendly! Awesome.

Then about 15mins later we found out that in repairing the wife’s phone something had happened and the “Home” key was not working. Back to the Apple store (we were only a little bit away in the same shopping mall) and as we’re walking back in, the manager, recognising us asks: “Is there a problem sir?” – We explained about the Home key and the phone was instantly whisked away and brought back 3 minutes later in fully working condition.

This is good on many levels. OK, better to have made the repair correctly the first time but if you make a mistake, get it sorted there and then no muss, no fuss.

Today I was in again with my aging Macbook. I’ve bought a replacement battery for it some time ago and that battery has turned out to be faulty. I brought it to the genuis bar today and they ran the tests etc. They told me that if it’s under warranty they’ll replace it there and then. In fact, unofficially, the manager told me that if it was no longer under warranty, they’d still replace it because it was looking a bit “bulgy” and therefore a faulty unit.

The only stipulation was that because of the way Apple have structured the Retail vs Online store they are only allowed to replace equipment bought in store. Now frankly that’s ridiculously poor process from Apple, but it’s not this guy’s problem. Apple – Sort that out.

As it turned out, (I couldn’t remember initially since it’s been a while and quite a few Apple product purchases later) this is an online battery. That means the online store have to replace it… but because of their 14day return policy I was able to buy a battery today and can return it within 14days if I get a replacement for the faulty one from the online store.

During this process of sorting out what can/can’t be done the Genius also spotted that my case is cracked at the edge where the screen closes on the keyboard. This is apparently a known fault and therefore I’m entitled to a free repair. What? I didn’t even care about that, it’s a 4 1/2 year old laptop which I use occasionally!

So, they haven’t solved my problem, but because they have dealt with my other problems so well, and because of their honest, open and friendly approach I feel like I’m not only willing to forgive them the silly divide between Retail and Online but over all I feel more cared for not less. Ok, I’m still sorting out the battery issue but on the other hand my 4 1/2 year old laptop is getting a facelift… excellent.

Now that, in my book, is customer service. Even when not being able to help me to solve the problem today  they’ve built loyalty. What brand wouldn’t love to have that ability?

Joe Vaughan

Stardust dancin on the night...

UK

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