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Selling without selling

Selling Without Selling – How To Use Goodwill and 5* Customer Service To Solidify Brand Loyalty

A couple of weeks ago, my MacBook Pro suddenly stopped working – right in the middle of an important client project! Worst nightmare, I know!  

Having used Apple Macs for about 20 years, I figured a simple ‘restart’ would sort out the issue, but unfortunately, that didn’t work. Even the client IT guy, who knew some ninja restart shortcuts, couldn’t get it to work.

Thankfully he had one spare, and I was set up with a temporary Mac in no time.

But what about my trusty MBPro – it’s four years old, and I don’t have any Apple Care… My thoughts were running wild! I mean, I run my whole business from my Mac. It’s the be-all and end-all of how I work, an extension of my mind, my brain!

( yes, I know. I will explore my computer attachment issues in another post 😉 )

Lesson 1* | Make it super easy for your customers to contact you

As soon as it was lunchtime, I jumped straight onto the Apple website, entered my contact number and the product’s serial number, and BAAM! within seconds (AND I MEAN SECS), they called me back.

Lesson 2* | Remember your customer’s name

Caller:  Hey Debbie, it’s Arran from Apple; how can we help you today?

Lesson 3* | Take a – we’re in this together approach

Me: “My Mac isn’t responding and gets stuck when starting up” Caller: Ok, let’s see how WE can help you get this sorted.”  (IE We are all in this together.)

We spent the whole lunch hour on the phone, going through every Apple ninja restart and startup trick in the book. And although I had to cut the call short to get back to work, they left me with full instructions on how to continue the checks and, if that was unsuccessful, to call them straight back.

So just to recap – so far, Apple had spent about a good 2.5 hours trying to help, and at no point in any of the calls had they made feel like they were in a rush to get to the next call. Something a lot of product service providers often fail miserably on.

After going over the checks, the Mac still wasn’t responding, so the next step was to take the Mac to my local Apple store to have a technician look at it.

Lesson 4* |  First impressions last

The only way I describe an Apple store is like an elite football team, everyone knows exactly which position they play and who to pass the customer to next.

If you’re just browsing, you are free to meander. If you have an appointment, you get fast-tracked to the front of the queue, just like in a 5-star restaurant.

I just love how simple and organised they make it.

I took my place at the Genius Bar (which lives up to its name), where the technician was completely up-date with what was going on with my Mac. “I’m going to run through a few more system checks one more time, and if that doesn’t, we will have to do a complete re-install.”

And that’s actually what was needed, but again I wasn’t too stressed because Apple had reminded me to bring a backup in their email appointment reminder just in case.

The appointment took about 1.45 hours, and the technician didn’t try to up-sell me anything. “As we have been able to fix your Mac in-store today, Debbie, there is £0.00, nada cost for this.”

How many appliances do you own or have bought that provide this service? I personally can’t think of any.

Lesson 5* |  The real money is in the value you provide

The funny thing is, while I was sitting there waiting for the re-install to finish, all I could think of was…  I wonder how much I can get for my Mac if I trade it for a new one today. Ka-ching! I’d love a new iPad Pro – Ka-ching!, Oooo, that iWatch over there looks nice…. Ka-ching! I know what my husband is buying me for my next Birthday – Ka-ching!

By showing me a huge amount of value through their customer service and support, Apple solidified me as a loyal and ready-to-buy customer. This reminds of this famous quote by the late Steve Jobs:

Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.  

Of course, one of the best places to start when reviewing your customer service strategy, is your companies brand values. 

Here are 3 additional resources that I highly recommend:
1 | Start With Why: Simon Sinek’s infamous TEDx talk
2 | Seth Godin: Tribes
3 | Apple Manchester – where the story was inspired!

Is it time to review your existing brand positioning and values?

If so, contact Debbie direct to discuss your current objectives.