Recently, you may have seen that Gizmodo reported on a leaked copy of Apple’s Genius Training Workbook. Described by Gizmodo as “an exhaustive manual to understanding customers and making them happy”, it provides a fascinating look into Apple’s approach to customer service.
Whether their motive is to genuinely provide the best client service possible or something more commercial to increase revenue, one thing remains: they are still a brand universally known as keeping their customers at the heart of their business.
If you have ever worked in customer service for any company this guide won’t come as much of a surprise. I remember something similar when I took my first job in HR for women’s fashion retailer, Principles. Their mantra was to create a fantastic customer journey, which was felt from the moment you walked into the shop. The company invested thousands in creating the right look and feel for customers – from the music playing as people entered the shop, through to the perfume at the cash desks, the lay out of the store and most of all the people. Everyone was trained on the right approach to greeting and engaging with people – with the aim to make you more comfortable and happy, in order to increase sales.
This is something we do at Liberty too. We have developed our global standards document of procedures and processes to make sure our team always provides our clients with the best possible experience. There’s nothing more disappointing to us than a disappointed client and we invest in our teams to make sure they are the best they can be. Now, this comes down to people being willing to grow and learn and take on new approaches but with the right attitude, correct training and fantastic reward and recognition policies we can help our teams to make sure they are the best they can be.
The key is also encouraging everyone to listen – truly listen – to clients. It’s only then can we truly develop campaigns that will make a real difference. We communicate regularly, ask for feedback and never rest on our laurels. The personal touch goes a long way too – remembering to offer a hand of help if they have a particularly busy week, saying thank you and sending surprise gifts and flowers go a long way – as well as the obligatory well deserved lunch of course.
Now no company will become the largest company in the world (like Apple) by being nice just for the sake of being nice. Apple is cool, but it is a much more disciplined cool, that is focused on the bottom line. But I don’t think that being nice is a bad thing. After all, it’s much nicer to go into a store where you are treated nicely with empathy, get polite answers to your questions and actual help with your problems. It’s no wonder their team of “geniuses” actually help to generate sales. In fact, on the same day Gizmodo reported their story, TechCrunch reported that according to a study by NPD Group, “nine of every ten Apple owners are somewhat or much more likely to make another Apple purchase following their tech support experience.” Furthermore, one percent of those polled said they have a better perception of Apple after getting technical help at the Genius Bar.
One thing is for sure – would we really complain if we got a positive experience from a store we visited or organisation we had dealt with? I don’t think so.