October 21, 2014

CONTROL: Apple’s Secret to Delivering a Consistently Good Retail Experience

photo: apple.com

The short lesson from this article about Apple’s retail experience is that if you want people to have a consistently good experience with your store, you must CONTROL everything. No element of your store’s experience should be left up to a random element of choice as decided by an hourly employee.

A 2007 employee training manual lays out the A-P-P-L-E “steps of service” with an acronym of the company name: “Approach customers with a personalized warm welcome,” “Probe politely to understand all the customer’s needs,” “Present a solution for the customer to take home today,” “Listen for and resolve any issues or concerns,” and “End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return.” It is reportedly still in use today.

Freedom comes on the other side of control. How are you controlling the experience in your store?

 

Customer Experience at Virgin’s New Club

When you’re sitting at the gate, and they announce a 20-minute delay for your flight, you can feel the frustration in the air.

When you’re sitting in a domestic airline club and you get a 20-minute delay, you think, “well…at least I’m not at the gate yet. Maybe I’ll have another pretzel.”

When they announced a 20-minute delay at Virgin’s new club in New York’s JFK, people applauded. Why? Because they got to extend their stay in the club by 20 minutes.

Salon? check. Spa? check. Pool table? check. Cheap crackers and plastic-wrapped cheese? Try United.

Capture this attitude toward making your customers happy and you’ll be hauling money to the bank like Sir Richard Branson.

[photo from Slade Architecture]

Shareworthy Customer Service – Tim Miles wrote the book

Click on the thumb and go buy the book!

Seriously, Tim wrote the book on shareworthy customer service.

The book is called “Your Customers Like This – The whats, whos, hows & whys of Shareworthy Customer Service.”

It’s pretty awesome and right now, it’s pretty inexpensive. In fact, Tim is only asking a donation of 99-cents to benefit Touchpoints Central Missouri Autism Project.

You should grab it before he changes his mind. Did I say it’s awesome? Yes. Yes, I did.

Soundbites: Fire Fast, Hire Slow

This is age old advice in management circles.

Kinda funny how hard it is to do in practice. And it’s one of those topics where you look at business owners and managers and you think, “They really should take this advice.” I really want to talk about the “fire fast” but I’ll just touch briefly on the hire slow, because there are loads and loads of resources on how to hire people. Just remember that the worst thing you can do is hire the first person through the door that you think could probably learn to do the job. [Read more...]

BrandingBlog Radio: Michele Miller on Sports, Politics and F.A.R.E.

Recording this Podcast was a blast. I’ve been working with Michele Miller for 10 years now and being able to share conversations like this is exactly why I started podcasting.

What really made this one fun is that we were face-to-face instead of on Skype. We were both in Palm Springs to have an annual meeting with a client that we’ve worked with almost as long as we’ve been Wizard of Ads partners. This past year our retail client grew 28% over the previous year. That’s a big deal any way you look at it.

In this rambling conversation, we discuss trends in societal change, sports (was it baseball or football?), politics and New Year’s Resolutions, or the lack thereof. You’ll learn about Michele’s F.A.R.E. mantra and my own twist on it.

I hope you enjoy it. I think I managed to maintain my family friendly rating on iTunes. Somehow, turning on the recorder kept us both from flinging f-bombs around the room.

This picture was from her Wonderbranding Class at Wizard Academy on Halloween, 2007. Yes, she taught the class dressed like this.