For businesses that provide products and/or services to consumers, customer service is absolutely the most important aspect of developing and maintaining business success. Many of the cases I have dealt with over the years as a California Lemon Law attorney got to my office because of very poor customer service by either the manufacturers or service facilities. Today, I had the pleasure of dealing with a company that gets it regarding customer service. Let me explain.
For the last two months or so, my daughter’s cell phone (Apple iPhone 5) began shutting off and requiring a re-boot. The phone would have to be re-set and would work for a while and then go back to shutting off. It finally got so bad that I decided the phone would have to be replaced. The phone was not under warranty so I knew that I would have to pay for the replacement phone. (These phones are pretty expensive and I am pretty cheap. So I wasn’t looking forward to buying a replacement phone.)
I decided to go directly to the wireless service carrier and get another phone. But my daughter suggested that we go the Apple store and see if the phone could be fixed. Reluctantly, I agreed with her. (It’s hard to admit that your 17 year old daughter comes up with a great idea that you didn’t think of. Frankly, it’s just downright painful.) So off to the Apple store we went. For those who have never been to an Apple store for service, the store has a service/repair section called the Genius Bar. At the Genius Bar, Apple associates will assist you with issues you may have with your Apple product. Consultation and diagnosis is usually done free of charge. In addition, you may book an appointment for the Genius Bar on-line to avoid waiting in the store.
We arrived at the store without an appointment. But within five minutes or so we were at the Genius Bar being assisted by a nice and helpful Apple associate. The associate tested the phone and did a deep reset on it. The phone seemed to work fine after the re-set, so we left the store. But as we walked out of the store the phone failed again. We turned around and went back to the Genius Bar and spoke to the same associate. He looked at the phone and asked if he could take it apart to look at the phone’s inside. My daughter said go ahead and the associate took the phone to a room behind the Genius Bar. A few minutes later, the associate came back out and said because of a known issue with the phone, Apple would replace it free of charge. Mind you, the phone was out of warranty and I did not ask for Apple to replace it. Shortly thereafter, we were on our way with a new phone that, so far, works great.
Because of this experience, I took the time to write this article and will continue to buy and recommend Apple products. And I would assume my daughter will too. (And I should point out that my daughter has reminded me repeatedly that the idea to go to the Apple store was hers. And because she saved me money, she gets full credit.)
The bottom line is that Apple gets it. Great customer service keeps people coming back for more.