Apple And Managing Customer Expectations

2

January 27, 2014 by Colin Kelly

My faithful Macbook Air had a knackered trackpad and needed a repair.

I booked my appointment at the Genius Bar at the Apple Store and took it in.

The Genius did his thing and confirmed what I thought: ‘It needs a new trackpad’.

Now here’s the clever bit: he looked sad, did that thing plumbers and car mechanics do where they suck air in through their teeth, frowned and said, ‘It could take 3-4 days before you get it back. That’s worst case and I think I should give you worst case so you’re not disappointed.’

Throughout all this he’s calling me ‘Colin’. The car mechanic and the plumber would have called me ‘Mr Kelly’. No-one calls me Mr Kelly, unless they’re trying to be polite.

Apple are just friendly.

Anyway, I get a voicemail the next day. ‘Hi Colin, it’s the Apple Store at Braehead, your Macbook Air is ready for collection.’

I’d been prepared for a 3-4 day wait and here it was the next day. Amazing.

But then I thought. Had they worked like demons through the night just to get my machine ready? Had lots of other people ahead of me in the queue changed their minds and taken their machines back out? Had Apple gone on a dramatic recruitment drive in order to speed things up in the workshop?

Or had they just deliberately exaggerated how long it would take to carry out the repair, in order to give me a pleasant surprise when they beat their own deadline?

I couldn’t possibly comment.

But it’s a similar experience when you phone them up.

First, it’s a local 0141 number, answered by a local accent, and answered very quickly and clearly.

But before that, comes the standard ‘Your call is very important to us, and will be answered shortly’, and no sooner has The Smiths ‘How Soon Is Now’ started to play (best hold music ever?) than I’m through and my call is answered.

‘But I only got 2 bars!!!!’

And now I’ve got my Macbook Air back and it’s as productive as ever.

Nice one, Apple.

Now think about the customer journey in your own business and how you manage expectations.

Can you leave them delighted, just by doing what you do in a clever way and communicating effectively?

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2 thoughts on “Apple And Managing Customer Expectations

  1. jocknroll says:

    In my experience Amazon do a similar thing. They tell you your order will arrive between two particular dates and you’re delighted to find it arriving one or two days ahead of schedule. For all their issues surrounding tax, I’ve always found them good at resolving problems too.

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