What makes a customer for life? It starts with a great product that meets the needs of the customer, but that alone is not enough. It also takes great customer service after the sale when things go wrong and no matter how great the product is – it inevitably will.
I recently upgraded my iPhone 3G to the newest 3.0 iPhone operating system. I love the new 3.0 O/S but one of its new features highlighted a broken component on my phone – the bluetooth and wifi chip. It turns out that when you try to use both at the same time on my original iPhone that it overheated and caused both of the wireless services to not play nice with each other.
I tried every suggested online support tactic, but to no avail. None of the suggested fixes actually worked. So I did what millions of Apple customers do – I made an appointment with the Genius Bar. For those who don’t know what the Genius Bar is, it is a place in each Apple Retail Store that is staffed with highly trained and certified Apple technology folks. They have all the diagnostic gear available and can find the problems to product related issues quickly.
With a few quick diagnostic questions and apparently the right answers and a quick look at the iTunes Log on my MacBook, they replaced the iPhone on the spot. No questions asked, they just gave me a new iPhone 3G. Having gone there expecting to get the typical “user error – idiot customer” response that you get most places, I was obviously pleasantly surprised when the experience was just the opposite. They actually apologized for my inconvenience and said that sometimes they too ship bad products.
Apple earned a customer for life today – or at the very least until I have a radically different level of service from them going forward. Apple knew that their product was defective and used the situation to earn goodwill with a customer until such time that I trade my goodwill for greenbacks and purchase yet another Apple product. Thanks Apple for doing right by the customer today!!