I like to think I’m not too shabby when it comes to technology.
I’m a bit of a geek – as you know – and as such, I can pretty much work my way around most techie problems. Or so I thought.
After the new iPad purchase I noticed I couldn’t transfer the movies I’d bought on my AppleTV device. It was annoying as instead of buying physical movies in DVD format these days, we download them from the iTunes store. It works a treat.
Except my AppleTV thingy wasn’t set up to sync with the main house computer and this was the transfer issue (bear with me). So I tried everything and as a last resort, I thought a reboot was in order. This promptly lost me all the content (music, video etc) for the past two years.
I then discovered a chilling little fact – if you lose all the content you’ve downloaded, then tough. Apple’s iTunes Store says you can only download once. Double arse.
Then a colleague said that he’d done something similar and he’s emailed Apple and they’d sorted it for him and why didn’t I give that a shot? Nothing ventured etc. So I mailed Apple in a ‘help I’m a buffoon’ tone of voice and waited for a reply.
Three days later I got an email from a Jarrett in Itunes Store customer Support. He explained that he understood how frustrating it was to lose files and how Apple would do their very best to help me get the files back. He sent me a link to download every file I had downloaded from the iTunes Store and full details of how I can back all the files up so it doesn’t happen again.
I was flabbergasted.
This kind of customer experience is not the norm for me. Usually it’s a ‘sorry mate there’s nothing we can do about it’ or ‘rules are rules, sorry’. It really felt like they were going the extra mile – it wasn’t just a bog standard letter either, it was personalised all the way through.
We all know I’m a bit of an Apple fanboy. And I’m sure when they looked up my recent spending on Apple products, my query was probably put at the top of the list with a post it note saying ‘keep this guy sweet, we’re making a fortune out of him’.
But that’s irrelevant. There’s plenty of brands out there who I spend plenty with and I’m still persona non grata. The key thing here is this Apple acolyte just got more enthusiastic and even more evangelical about the brand, products and service.
I know the web and in particular the blogosphere is the place where people complain about brands and the way they behave. And I do believe this has become a very powerful way for consumers to apply the kind of pressure onto the big organisations to change the things they don’t like.
No business is perfect and Apple’s recent Chinese Factory suicides is a case in point. But what they did do is take it board and act quickly, recognising the power of the consumer in these issues.
I hear a lot of negative stories and I think these outweigh the positives by around ten to one. I just thought for once it would be good to talk about amazing customer service in the context of a company that I think is getting a lot of things very right.
It’s the little things that make all the difference.