Customer Centricity
Astute Planning. Flawless Execution.
Delighted Customers.

Issue #196

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Apple Nails It -- Again!

In October of 2009, we published an article entitled "Apple - Doing Something Very Right" in which I described my experience acquiring my first MacBook Pro. Shortly afterwards, I decided that my wife needed one as well.

Recently, her MacBook was acting up (the cursor would move around by itself and the screen would pixelate), so we took it into the local Apple store. I won't elaborate on the great experience that I have each time I go there (the greeting, being directed to the appropriate person to help me, cool / smart people, etc.).

I was directed to the Genius Bar where a young gentleman promptly began running diagnostics. Nothing significant materialized. So, he suggested that they hold it overnight to run some stress tests and further diagnostics. I wholeheartedly agreed. No cost, so far...

When the stress testing was complete,  I received a call. They learned that the main circuit board needed to be replaced. I'm thinking, “uh-oh, this is going to be painful.” He indicated that doing the repair onsite would be quick, but the cost would be a bit higher. If we could wait 3-5 days, they could ship it to their offsite repair center and do the job for $280. My response: “Let's do it!”

Then, he shared some additional caveats, which went something like this: "Realize, that when we open up the machine and perform further inspections we may find other problems." Yeah, I'm thinking, that is what the auto repair person says too, right before they sock it to you. He continued: "We will replace any defective component that we find, for the flat price of $280 that I just quoted you." Unbelievable!

When the repair was complete, I received a call to come pick up my wife's MacBook. Same great experience walking into the store. Within moments, the MacBook was on the Genius Bar as they explained what had been done.

Remember the cost was ONLY $280! They replaced ALL of the following:

  1. Logic Board (the original item they targeted for replacement)
  2. Display Clamshall (top cover)
  3. Hard Drive 500GB (replacing the original 160GB)
  4. Battery Li-Ion
  5. Top Case w/Keyboard
  6. MagSafe Board (power adapter)

And, after gutting and replacing the above components they also:

  • Did a clean install of the latest Mac OS version
  • Confirmed the MacBook passed ALL hardware testing

OK, folks, we "pretty much" have a brand new computer here, for $280. And, this work was done on a MacBook Pro that was WAY out of warranty.

Why do they do this? So the customer is quite simply "blown away" and will return, again and again and again. And, they will receive lots of free advertising as people talk to others about the fantastic experience!

In summary, I am absolutely delighted with Apple and cannot fathom why I'd ever go back to the dark side.

Full disclosure: Yes, I hold Apple stock. Even if I didn't, this article shares a perfect case study example of a company that has absolutely "nailed" the customer experience!

As a reminder, Craig Bailey, President and Founder of Customer Centricity, is a sponsor and speaker at SCORE 2014, taking place from May 21-23 at the Seaport Boston Hotel. Craig’s workshop, How to Optimize the Customer Satisfaction Survey Experience, is taking place on May 23 from 10:00 am to 10:50 am. He’ll be focusing on leveraging survey results to drive action plans designed to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. Craig will be joined by 2 other panelists / speakers in this session:

  • Martha Brooke: Founder -  InterAction Metrics 
  • Mike Phillips: Head of Feedback Strategy, Web Surveys - Cvent
  • The session description is as follows:

    To fully understand your customers' needs, you must gather pertinent data from them and then sort through it to find the keys to building customer loyalty. Good or bad, this feedback, and how you manage it, is critical to a successful Customer Experience Management (CEM) strategy. Customer and employee surveys form the basic building blocks of your CEM strategy. Done poorly, surveys merely provide lots of data. Done properly, this data is used to produce valuable and actionable information that helps companies develop a successful CEM program.

    We look forward to seeing you there!

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