Listen, I’m just as big a Mac fan as the next person in line. Hell, I waited up all night for the iPhone 4 to finally come to Verizon and ended up placing my order at 2AM after sleeping on my couch with my computer propped open on my lap for the better part of the evening.
But, even I was beginning to have my doubts.
More and more people were talking about the almighty Google and the Android power that exists on the other side of the spectrum. Now that I’m not tethered down to iTunes anymore (running Spotify mainly), I technically don’t have anything holding me back from switching systems.
Still, I’m attracted to Apple products for the same reason everyone else is. They’re clean and pretty to look at. The user interface is remarkably easy to use (and still my fiancee can’t figure out how to navigate with Maps).
So, imagine my excitement when an Apple store ended up being directly across from the new office of Federated Media Publishing. I’d have to walk by the office each day on my way to work and stare at the toys on display.
Back when I got my first Mac (2007), it literally was the most expensive thing I had bought to date. I remember standing at the checkout line in Best Buy shuddering over the amount I was about to fork over. Could this new Apple computer really be $500 better than the HP I was comparing it to? After all, I’d used PC’s virtually my entire life.
Where in the hell was the “Start” tab? What about the control panel? It was like learning to walk all over again.
As with many fairy tales, I ended up falling in love and would classify myself as a die-hard Mac fan (and others would tend to agree).
It’s almost that time again – time for me to reinvest in a new Mac. Despite updating my RAM and running very few applications at once, my current MacBook (from the one year that they actually made just MacBooks with an aluminum frame) is running a bit on the slow side.
So one day, I made the mistake of walking into the Apple Store.
I had scheduled an appointment with the Genius bar and was met by another Mac fanatic that evidently knew his way around the operating system far better than I did. I learned more hotkeys in the 15 minutes with him than I’ve learned in my entire time with the machine.
My problem was computing speed. He began showing me a variety of reasons why I was running slower than usual and ended up improving my speed in just a few seconds. We settled on the fact that I needed more RAM and would eventually need to replace my computer. Being the helpful sales associate that he was, he demonstrated the new MacBooks on the market including those with Retina display. He explained what I would need from my new computer (surprisingly not the most expensive option out there). He gave me a few other tips to help prolong the life of my current mac.
But, I had another problem. My battery life sucked. It was time to invest in a new battery for my current laptop if I was going to keep it.
He went to the back to grab the battery and ended up walking out and installing one in my computer. I got out my wallet to pay when he showed me the receipt totaling nothing and saving me over a hundred bucks.
Now, I know this is a ploy to get me to come back. I’m clearly interested in buying another MacBook Pro and keeping me happy is a surefire way to guarantee $1500 down the road for the company. But, they turned this experience into the best one possible. I now know how to improve my computer speed (buy new RAM surprisingly from another website not from Apple at the recommendation of the employee). He gave me a free battery and told me what kind of back-up system to buy (again, suggesting another brand outside of Apple).
My computer will last me another 6-7 months before I invest in a new MacBook Pro.
Moral of the story: The customer experience is important – even more important than the flashy products. They tend to sell themselves. Experiences sell the company.
What kind of good/bad customer service experiences have you had that have either brought you back or deterred you away from a specific store?