Sunday, March 3, 2013

Is Apple still the leader in Customer Experience?

Is Apple still the leader in Customer Experience? My recent visit to the local Apple store would lead me to believe the answer is "No."

This is my response to their customer experience survey they sent me:

"Yes, I was very disappointed. My head phones weren't working and it happened once before in July. Last time I came in in July the first person I met swapped them out right away after I showed them my receipt. I was in and out in 5 minutes. This time I had to schedule an appointment then wait for my appointment and then wait again after my appointment time. The first person I talked to said that I could not swap out my headphones even after I showed her a receipt that showed I bought them only 8 months ago. She brought me to another guy who said that they did have a year warranty. Then I made the appointment with another man. I think you should try to get more staff and have work around for easy issues like swapping out headphones. I can understand if I was trouble shooting something more complicated why I'd need to visit the Genius Bar. I really have always considered Apple to be the role model for customer experience but after my visit I feel strongly you have lost your focus."

What customer Experience stories do you have? I just got a new job at my company as a Customer Experience Architect. I am looking for ways that customers interact with companies both good and bad. Please email me or click the comment button to let me know your stories.

Meanwhile I just got Windows 7, yes I am a late adopter, and I really am impressed with it. Could Microsoft be the new leader in Customer Experience?

1 comment:

  1. Hello Bett! It's been a while.

    I've been an Apple product user going on 6 years or so. But unlike a lot of Mac people, I also work with Windows and Linux platforms all the time. This is important because I feel most Apple fans don't know any better.

    I'm both an end-user and a developer. In other words, I count on my equipment's uptime as it affects my income. When the keyboard on my ThinkPad malfunctioned, IBM came to my location (not my house: my building at work!) within 12 hours and swapped out the keyboard, no questions asked. I called, made the claim, and we were done. We didn't go through an hour of scripted dialog, nor was I ever on hold. It was business, and it was business done well.

    Apple, on the other hand, really likes to waste your time. I had bought a brand new MacBook Pro, then about 3 weeks later, one of the keys kept popping off. I had to make an appointment with the "genius bar," to which they were late about one hour to get to me. I don't understand the purpose of these appointments when they never keep them. Anyway, I showed the lady the problem with the key. Without asking, she took the laptop to the back and kept me waiting about half an hour. She came back, touting that she fixed it. I took one good look at the keyboard and said "three of the keys are bent. You bent my keyboard." Then she started reciting a script, claiming that my device is still "within manufacturing variance" and refused to do anything about it. I demanded to see a manager. He said that unfortunately, the paper I signed waived them from liability. I informed him that I never signed a single agreement, that the lady never asked me if it was okay to take my laptop, and that the defect is most definitely not within manufacturing variance. They ended up comping the repair, but it took one full week.

    One full week of lost development. That is unacceptable! How is that considered premium quality service? And people actually think this is good? It was an absolute failure in every way.

    This is just the tip of the ice burg. I've had countless bad experiences with Apple. It never ends. I really wish I had the option to never deal with them again, but unfortunately, it's a necessary evil.

    Now to comment about your late adoption of Windows 7: good for you! It's a great operating system. I'm on Windows 8, again for development purposes. It has some cool stuff, but some really bad stuff, too. I envision 7 as the new XP, meaning people and businesses will continue to use it for years to come, even though something newer is out. In the tablet environment, however, Windows 8 is quite good. It still needs a few upgrades, but I'd imagine most of it will be covered in the next service pack. We'll see. One thing's for sure, the development tools are great!