Two years ago I spent about six hours over a 3 days period in my favorite Apple store. It still sticks in my mind as a prime example of how you create value in terms of income in your business by creating great value for your customers. It goes both ways. And yes I did spend some money while I was there. It was time well spent because it turned out to be a great study in how Apple does business.
Now I’m not sure if this is completely conscious on their part or not, but it is genius. I’m not even sure if it works this way across the whole system (but I bet it does) or if I just have an amazing Apple store. You can decide for yourself.
What I observed was a customer service system, or should I say a customer experience system, that appeared flawless. It then was followed by a procession of various people aiding me and introducing me to things I might want to ‘play with’ which leads to more purchases. See how you can model this in your business.
I realize you probably don’t have a store full of products and brilliant employees, so look at the concepts here because you can definitely apply these steps, even if you’re a one person online business.
Step 1: There is a greeter at the door with an iPad that in about 2 seconds has you checked for your Genius Bar appointment and tells you where to go. Naturally, it’s to the back of the store so you walk by all the goodies on the way. You instantly feel welcomed, valued, heard and understood all in one simple act.
Step 2: The guys I met at the Genius Bar, and over 3 days I met several, are techie geniuses. If they aren’t an expert on your particular issue they’re not afraid, like many people are in their own businesses, to say they aren’t the expert and bring in someone who is. I think that goes beyond genius to possible being called an Apple god.
For just a minute I thought back to all the web guys and computer guys and other techies I’ve paid to learn on my dime because they wouldn’t admit they didn’t know how to do what I needed done. Has that ever happened to you? Well, rest assured it won’t at the Apple store. And their help is free!
Stay tuned for my theory of how free turns into profit.
Step 3: It takes time to run diagnostics or do uploads or downloads or whatever is being done, so you have some time to play in the store. I was instructing to see the person at a big table right in front of the Genius Bar, who could point me to something I might enjoy.
Step 4: The guy at the table asks if you have one product after another until he arrives at the one you don’t already own. He then handed me over to a guy who could tell me all about the iPad and let me play for a while. You’re not going anywhere, you’ve got time to kill, so you’re more than happy to listen to all the things you could do if you only had an iPad. You didn’t want one when you came in, but chances are you’re leaning toward it now.
The next day it was the newest iPhone and before I was done I had looked at all the portable speaker systems for the iPod as well.
Step 5: Reciprocity. If you’ve studied sales or if you’ve read Robert Cialdini’s book “Influence”, which I highly recommend, you know that after that kind of service and all the time the other people spent showing you their new products?you almost feel obligated to buy something. So you do, or should I say, I did.
I bought my first Mac product almost four years ago. I don’t think anyone in an Apple store has ever asked me to buy anything! I’m curious if they track the buying patterns of people who come in for a Genius Bar appointment and the revenue that generates.
I would guess it’s many times what they pay the people who work in that position. How could you apply this in your business?
Step 6: There wasn’t enough time the first day for what ended up needing to be done, so they suggested an appointment the next day. The Microsoft for Mac product I was using for my email now refused to allow my content to be moved over to Mac Mail and iCal, so my computer spent the night.
At 8:40 on Saturday night I got a call, letting me know the progress. Do you think any PC computer companies ever do that?
Step 7: Bad situation being turned into customer loyalty. Sadly, it was not to be and I’m forced to leave behind the info on that program and start fresh. But instead of being upset, I left the Apple store thinking, “There is no way I would ever buy anything other than a Mac. This service is amazing and so are the people who work here.”
So now let me ask you, if a client or customer comes to you with an issue or a product defect, how do you handle it?
Do your clients leave feeling great about working with you even if you couldn’t resolve their issue?
Well, they can. You just need to invest in yourself and your business to acquire the sales and communication skills to make it happen. Or get mentoring to have me break down your business process the same way so you really know where you’re at.
Apple may or may not do this whole process consciously, but I guarantee you, it’s no accident that they have a great customer experience all mapped out and employees who are trained to make it happen.
You don’t need the budget of Apple to create this in your business.
A good place to start is to grab your copy of Getting to Yes Without Selling Quick Start Formula 2.0
Until next week, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Just comment on this post on my blog at http://www.LynnPierce.com
If you would like personal mentoring, send me an email detailing what you would like help with. As your mentor I hold a bigger vision for you than you hold for yourself. When you have faith and a team that believes in you, it gives you courage. When you don’t have to do it all yourself, all things are possible for you. Commit today to go for your dream 100%.
With over 30 years in sales and marketing, along with almost 40 years studying human behavior, Lynn Pierce, “The Success Architect,” mentors entrepreneurs and information marketers to reach the pinnacle of success. Tell Lynn what the life of your dreams looks like, and she’ll create the blueprints to get you there, along with the sales system to fund it. Author of, “Breakthrough to Success; 19 Keys to Mastering Every Area of Your Life”, Lynn Pierce’s personal growth and business acceleration systems help her clients get three times the results in half the time with one tenth of the effort. Claim your free special report, “7 Steps to Turn Your Passion Into Cash” in the upper right hand corner.