The Apple of Her Eye

"The transaction was done before I even knew it began!"

These were the words of my friend Carole, when discussing a recent purchase at an Apple Store.  She went in to simply look at her options for an iPod speaker dock (i.e., a device to play her iPod so that others may hear the music).  She had gone into the store to assess her options, but left the store shortly thereafter with her purchase in hand. 

So what transformed her from a tire-kicker to a satisfied customer?  Big surprise here: SERVICE!

Even amidst the hustle and bustle of the constantly busy Apple Store, the rep found Carole, determined what she was seeking, led her to the right area, explained the options that she had, and patiently waited for her to make her decision, while standing at the ready to be able to answer any questions she may have had.  Then, here’s the beautiful thing:

Once she had decided on which speaker dock to purchase, the Apple rep whipped out his hand-held credit / debit card processor, and processed her order.  By the time her receipt had printed out for her to sign, another Apple employee was approaching, with her purchase boxed up, and then bagged in a handy-dandy backpack-type bag, that could be carried by hand or strapped to one’s back like a backpack.  This is where Carole realized, "The transaction was done before I even knew it began!"

This anecdote is key, not just because the reps were attentive, and Carole got what she wanted with a minimum of hassle or heavy-lifting, but because the purchase was made at all.  You see, Carole had no intention of actually BUYING the product at the Apple Store.  Everybody knows by now that Apple Stores are cool, fun places to check out the latest technology, but they are not the place one goes to save money.  And Carole’s husband Ron, who loves his toys, is a big fan of saving money on sites like uBid, so she knew she could get a better deal elsewhere.  But, because of the hand-held order processor, she did not have to stand idly in line, and therefore, did not have to opportunity to ponder her purchase, and wonder if she might save money by buying it elsewhere.  Now, the Apple Store employees did not steamroller her into making a purchase.  Rather, they were ready when the customer was ready, and processed the order immediately before she could start considering any other options.

So, once again, this is why SERVICE is more important than product or price.  If your customer feels taken care of, she or he will buy.  End of story. 

   — Chuck Dennis

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