Regular readers of this blog know I own and love my htc EVO 4G mobile device. I’ve even written a few posts about how to resolve the one drawback of the device and double its battery life. So why would a devoted Android fan have just pre-ordered an Apple iPhone 4S (which should arrive later today)? The answer is simple really. It’s because of the Genius Bar at my local Apple store.
Service and support matter
I’ve had cellular service with Sprint for about a decade now and have been more or less satisfied with them as a carrier. In the last few years, their customer service has improved dramatically. My one issue has been with the monthly insurance payment I make on my mobile device. While $100/year may not seem like a great deal of money, I’ve been less than impressed with the service I get in exchange for that payment.
On the other hand, I’ve had to take my two-year-old MacBook Pro to the Apple Genius Bar twice in the last couple months. I pay about the same $100/year for AppleCare that includes Genius Bar access. The level of service I get for the money at Apple is exponentially better. Here’s a few reasons why:
- I can pre-schedule an appointment at a time convenient for me.
- I’ll be greeted with a smile, treated with respect and not made to feel like an idiot when the problem is fairly simple.
- The Apple store is just a cool place to hang out and staffed with cool people.
It’s not just about solving the problem
At the end of the day, Apple and Sprint both successfully solve my problems. Apple, however, does it in a way that makes me think, “Wow, I’m glad I chose to be a customer of this great company.” The key is we have a choice to whom we give our business.
Now, I can still have service with Sprint, who solves service issue concerns in one phone call, and also have an iPhone 4S that goes to the Genius Bar when I have handset troubles. I respect Sprint for finding a way to give me that choice. Remember Sprint has chosen to do business with Apple. I suspect Apple also sees something more than access to Sprint’s customer base by agreeing to let Sprint sell and provide service for the iPhone.
Think about your service for a moment
Do you provide the kind of service that people look forward to? Of course, I don’t want my MacBook Pro and soon my iPhone 4S to need a trip to the Genius Bar, but I won’t mind going if need be. That’s a pretty powerful statement about the service and support organization Apple has built. Do you think your customers feel this way about you?