A Love Letter to Apple

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{Image via}

First, let me say that I do not understand rude customer service. Want to hurt your business? Make your customers feel like they are wasting your time. As a former employee in the service industry, I can tell you firsthand that acting like you do not want to be there is the quickest way to change your mood.

However, on a cloudy Monday morning, I was pleasantly surprised by the treatment I received at the Apple Store in New York’s Westchester Mall. Everyone knows Apple, the seemingly “perfect brand” that makes products you never knew you needed. When I was given an Apple iPhone 5 for my 20th birthday, I’m pretty sure that angels sang somewhere. Good-bye, broken Blackberry – hello, perfect and high-resolution iPhone 5!

From that moment on, our love affair was set in stone. I had an iPod touch, but nothing as shiny and high tech as an iPhone.

However, this past week, I joined the semi-working iPhone club. There were two problems. First, my “sleep/wake” button stopped working. My phone lived in a permanent state of “On” until it finally turned to the lock screen after one minute. Rest in Peace, awkward butt-dials. My second issue occurred when my iPhone’s camera went blurry.

So, why write a love letter?

The answer is simple. Both times, in two different local Apple stores, I was treated like a valued customer. I made an online appointment, showed up (the second time a few minutes late!) and was greeted with a smile by an ultra-courteous staff. I spoke with and was assisted by two different customer support staff members that gave me almost 45 minutes of their time as I asked silly questions. I was given product advice and assistance with an iPhone I am only beginning to understand. In both cases, I was lucky. My iPhone first “broke” due to faulty hardware and then again due to an issue that the staff had (thankfully!) seen before. I was told to back up my memory, was never asked if did I dropped it, and was not blamed for the issues. In the past, I have felt that any problem with a phone was somehow a fault of my teenage self. Instead, the customer service in this store was more than patient with my requests.

Apple: you actually made my day better by valuing my questions, not blaming me for software issues. You have made a phone customer for life. The true shocker to me is that this is so uncommon! When, as a society, did we stop valuing one another? Good customer service is an easy and incredibly effective aspect of any branding or marketing technique. The notion of how we treat one another, as everyone has worked with customers directly or in directly, begs the question of how we value others’ questions, lack of institutional knowledge, and differences.

Lemon readers, what does customer service mean to you?


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