Back in the spring of 2009, a little boy decided to clean Mommy’s MacBook. He took a bottle of hand lotion and smeared it onto both the screen and keyboard. Much to that little boy’s surprise, not only did it not clean the computer, it actually wrecked it. Completely. The screen and logic board were toast. Luckily, the hard drive was ok, so no information was lost.
This adorable little boy is my son, and he is the reason I decided to get AppleCare on the replacement MacBook. Today, I sure am glad I did. The bottom of the casing was starting to come off, and the top of the case was cracking, so I decided to take it in and see what my warranty would do about it. Not only are they replacing both parts, but they also ran a diagnostic test and decided to replace the battery, too. $500 worth of repairs all for free! Not counting the cost of the plan, which I believe was just under $200. So I’m still saving $300 if you look at it that way.
For me, my experience today is just one of the many reasons I love Apple. And love them or hate them, there are lessons to be learned from the great customer service I received today.
1. Make them feel welcome
As soon as I arrived for my scheduled Genius Bar appointment, one of the many red-shirted staff saw me and checked me in. He didn’t just tell me to “have a seat”, but rather found a chair for me to have a seat in, and let me know someone would be with me shortly. I barely had time to look at my phone when my assigned Genius approached and introduced herself. Darned if I can remember her name now, but let’s call her Jennifer.
2. Listen and understand
Jennifer asked me what brought me in today, and I showed her the various points of concern (the top and bottom of my MacBook). I said I wanted to know if my AppleCare would cover that. Jennifer listened, and understood the problems. Mine were rather simple, but I heard other Geniuses dealing with their clients during some waiting time, and they all listened and made sure they completely understood what the concerns were.
3. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver
Next, Jennifer said something along the lines of “Let’s check it out and see what you are covered for.” My first thought was “Oh, no! Why isn’t she saying it’s covered?!” But what I now realize is she was making sure she didn’t give me false hopes. Could you imagine if she said, “ya, that should be covered” and then it wasn’t? Maybe I was wrong and didn’t have coverage at all, or it had expired. Even if that was the case, I still probably would have been upset, and possibly taken my frustration out on her.
4. Go above and beyond
Once she confirmed I did indeed have coverage (only 89 days left!), she took it a step further. She ran a diagnostic test on my MacBook and discovered the battery was needing to be replaced. And guess what? It’s covered! I was only coming in to get my casing fixed, and now I’m getting a free new battery, too! What an unexpected, pleasant little surprise.
5. Make them feel appreciated
The downside to all of this is that they will have my MacBook for up to 5 days. Jennifer asked if I had any files I needed (thoughtful), so I uploaded a bunch of stuff to “the cloud”. I didn’t realize just how much I was uploading, and it took almost an hour. Not once during that time did any employee ask me to move, or harass me for taking too long. Jennifer left me to do my thing and helped another customer, but first she let me know she would be back for me. I still wasn’t done when she had to go for her dinner break. She told not one, but two other employees about my situation so that they could keep an eye out for when I was done, and she let me know as well. They all came by to check on me, and remembered my name. None of them ever made me feel like I was wasting their time or counter space. They were there to serve me, and I was just as important as any other customer in the store. When I was finally done, one of them was right there, ready to help me.
I walked out of that store a little sad for being without my laptop for a few days, but ultimately really pleased with the experience. I am already a big fan of Apple, and this just reinforced it. I wish I left all stores feeling this way, but unfortunately, customer service is a skill that not everyone has, and not every employer promotes.
What are some of your favourite brands? Why? Share your award-winning customer service stories below.