Sunday, December 18, 2011

Focus on the Customer

What does it take to have a first rate customer experience when there are more customers than sales representatives?  Yes, this means there is going to be some form of wait, a queue.  Here is my comparison of experience at the Apple Store to that of the restaurant, CheeseCake Factory which we went to right afterwards.

At the Apple store we were put on a wait list to see a representative (the greeter used a text description and my wife's name to put her on the list explaining that the next available person would find us, as we browsed).  I asked what the description was, and this is how my wife was described: "tall, with long hair, in a jean jacket with multi-colored scarf".  I suggested that they had the technology to just snap a picture and attached it.  She said there might be privacy concerns with that.

We browsed and found the item we needed (a Mini Display Port - HDMI adapter).  About the time we had found it an Apple person (wearing a red shirt for the holidays) walked up and asked for Tracy.  We handed her the item we found and she checked us out immediately.

At the restaurant we got on the wait list and received a pager.  We went to the bar to wait and have drinks for the 15 minute wait (got a separate bill for the drinks). When the pager beeped we went to the greeter desk and then had to wait there again for the line of people being seated (4 parties ahead of us).  After seating and a lovely lunch, we paid again (a separate bill for the meal).

Now which business has a smooth process that is customer focused?

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