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Helpful tech support boosts Apple's 'halo' effect, drives hardware sales

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Following an experience with Apple's technical support, nearly 60 percent of customers said they are more likely to purchase another Apple product.

The details come from The NPD Group's "Tech Services Study," the results of which were released on Tuesday. The survey found that Apple's technical support experience not only drives sales of new devices, but also left nearly a third of customers with a much more positive view of Apple.

Among those surveyed, nearly 90 percent of customers who used Apple's technical support characterized themselves as "extremely" or "very" satisfied. In particular, customers who used Apple's Genius Bar at its retail stores were satisfied because for most of them, the service was free.

"Tech support is a great service for the consumer, but more importantly it?s a brand-building element for the retailer and manufacturer," said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD. "People tend to associate any type of tech support as a negative experience, but Apple has demonstrated that those 'negatives' can be turned into positive brand experiences and result in a trip back to the store."

Another key benefit of the Genius Bar is customers are more likely to be satisfied when they have personal interaction inside a retail store. The survey found that 53 percent of customers indicated they were "extremely satisfied" with their in-store experience, which was the highest level of any type of service interaction.

"Retailers are rediscovering the value that services can offer the consumer," Baker said. "Store foot traffic has declined over the years leaving fewer and fewer in-person interactions. Having a strong tech support in-store model helps fill the transaction void and builds brand awareness and satisfaction."

Genius


Earlier this month, Apple revealed that its retail stores see more than 50,000 visits to their Genius Bars every day. Apple's stores have also seen nearly 300 million worldwide visitors so far in the company's fiscal 2012 year.

With the importance of Apple's technical support, particularly in person at its Genius Bars, the company has been experimenting with larger Genius Bars that can service more customers. At some locations, new Genius Bars have been rotated 90 degrees, so that they are perpendicular to the rear wall of the store, rather than up against the back wall where they have traditionally been positioned.

Apple has been known for its products having a so-called "halo" effect since the heyday of the iPod. Today, it continues with the iPhone, as customers are likely to buy other Apple products after having a positive experience with the company's smartphone.
post #2 of 23

You know, I think's time to just ignore all the nay-sayers that infest AI and other forums. They drop into a thread and make negative statements that are based on nothing but sour grapes, outright hatred, and falsehoods. Articles like this one prove they are full of crap. People buy Apple products because they like the products, the customer service, and the company. 

post #3 of 23
post #4 of 23

Steve Jobs changed the world. John Browett wants to change it back.
 

post #5 of 23
I have to say I was impressed when my MBP required a new battery covered under Apple Care recently and the chap in the Tampa Apple Store replaced it while I waited, chatting to other customers. All that was missing from the days I was Managing Director of a large 'Apple Centre' in the UK in the late 1980's was the cup of coffee my staff would have offered while doing the same thing. I can understand Apple's reluctance to offer a Starbucks type experience in the Apple Stores though for the fear of spills but the smell and ambience it creates is pretty awesome.
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post #6 of 23

As opposed to Dixon's sales support.  (these being the people you hide from in the store, on the basis they usually have very little product knowledge; apart from selling the extended warranties' that you don't want). 

post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomnryan View Post

Steve Jobs changed the world. John Browett wants to change it back.

 

Yep, bring back Ron Johnson. Maybe if JCP doesn't pan out?
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post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by fruiteatingbear View Post

As opposed to Dixon's sales support.  (these being the people you hide from in the store, on the basis they usually have very little product knowledge; apart from selling the extended warranties' that you don't want). 

Same in BB. Ever tried to find a Best Buy support person? /smile

Seriously, I did actually manage to collar a guy at Best Buy recently, they didn't have any large capacity SSDs and he actually said I'd probably have to go to Amazon to get what I was needing ... I'm guessing he'd already decided to leave his job ....
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"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
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From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
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post #9 of 23

Good idea pulling the bar away from the wall. More approachable now.

 
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

You know, I think's time to just ignore all the nay-sayers that infest AI and other forums. They drop into a thread and make negative statements that are based on nothing but sour grapes, outright hatred, and falsehoods. Articles like this one prove they are full of crap. People buy Apple products because they like the products, the customer service, and the company. 

Are you suggesting that people have ever given another reason for people buying Apple products? Like what? Mind controlled zombies?

post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

You know, I think's time to just ignore all the nay-sayers that infest AI and other forums. They drop into a thread and make negative statements that are based on nothing but sour grapes, outright hatred, and falsehoods. Articles like this one prove they are full of crap. People buy Apple products because they like the products, the customer service, and the company. 

 

You know I think you are right. It's very obvious that Browett's initiatives in the past few weeks have had no impact on consumers positive Apple experiences during the last year. I'm going to load up on AAPL stock right now and laugh at all the naysayers. They have no idea what they are talking about.

post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


Yep, bring back Ron Johnson. Maybe if JCP doesn't pan out?

IF? JCP is about to go bankrupt.

 

 


Tim Cook using Galaxy Tabs as frisbees

 

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Tim Cook using Galaxy Tabs as frisbees

 

Reply
post #13 of 23

Someone should pass this study along to Tim Cook and Browett.

 

I may not buy my mac/iphone at the Apple store, but a significant reason why I buy them at all is because of the Apple Store.

 

Although the geniuses are anything but, they are extremely helpful, even going so far as to recommending a 3rd party repair service when they could not guarantee repairs before I needed to travel. That is a major factor in my buying Macs, and not random PCs, or even getting an iPhone (although, thankfully, I havent had any iPhone related issues yet)

post #14 of 23

Now gather around tech childern - Once upon a time... in the distant past, a computer company called Dell (ever heard of it?) use to have great customer support. They sold lots of computers and had a good reputation. Then someone at Dell decided that customer support was too expensive. His name was Darth Accountant. A finance Sith Lord. So they outsourced it etc. Shortly after profits fell, so they made cheaper(less quality) computers... and sales fell futher. So they cut back on more customer support and quality product. And down they went into the spiral of thinking that just cutting the budget and costs will make them more money.

 

There was a new hope... a young tech Jedi named Jobs... swore to fight off the dark side of capitalism known as Finance. He first started his rebellion in his pirate outclave and created the Macintosh.  This was his first blow to the finance Sith Lords.....

 

 

Anyways, the moral of the story, take care of your customers and they will take care of you!

Ironically, one of Dells more profitable business is enterprise, where its all about customer support (and cheap junk enterprise computers)

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post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by logandigges View Post

IF? JCP is about to go bankrupt.

Forgot the /s
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
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From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
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post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I have to say I was impressed when my MBP required a new battery covered under Apple Care recently and the chap in the Tampa Apple Store replaced it while I waited, chatting to other customers. All that was missing from the days I was Managing Director of a large 'Apple Centre' in the UK in the late 1980's was the cup of coffee my staff would have offered while doing the same thing. I can understand Apple's reluctance to offer a Starbucks type experience in the Apple Stores though for the fear of spills but the smell and ambience it creates is pretty awesome.

My MacBook is in right now for service. The only complaint I have is I'm without it for several days :( Fortunately I've been hiding in the broom closet with my gf's Air :)

 

But would you mind telling me how you qualified for a new battery? I was recently told it's a wear item and not covered under my Apple Care.

post #17 of 23

This chapter is about sales and distribution. It describes the right way to get products to customers. It follows the evangelism chapter because this should be the order of a company's priorities. Distribution is usually a two-step process of selling products to distributors who in turn sell them to dealers. The status quo way of distribution is called Push. This means ramming large quantities of product on dealers and distributors because status quo companies believe that the distribution pipe will sell whatever gets pushed on it.

 

The Macintosh Way of getting product to customers is called Pull. Pull means creating demand so that customers pull the products that they want through the distribution pipe. Macintosh Way companies believe that the customer, not distribution muscle, is the key.

 

Distribution boils down to two simple rules: distributors stock what dealers sell, and dealers sell what customers buy. Inherently, this means that Push techniques will fail because customer demand determines what sells, not distribution muscle.

 

Guy Kawasaki - The Macintosh Way- 1990

post #18 of 23

A report like this one coming in tandem with the reports about Apple Stores reducing the customer experience priority in favor of "more profits"…? 

 

If Cook is driving the retail operation to do this, I'd be inclined to move Cook back to his COO position, and find a better more visionary, more brand sensitive CEO…..

post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


Same in BB. Ever tried to find a Best Buy support person? /smile
Seriously, I did actually manage to collar a guy at Best Buy recently, they didn't have any large capacity SSDs and he actually said I'd probably have to go to Amazon to get what I was needing ... I'm guessing he'd already decided to leave his job ....

 

The last three times I was inside Best Buy (that was over a year ago), ASIDE from the 'computer' section which seemed to be almost always overstaffed, each time it took NO LESS than ten minutes to find ANY staff to help me… one of those times I was looking to buy home theater system… when I finally found a person in uniform, they couldn't help me, just said their "specialist" (only one?) was off that day… I ended up buying it elsewhere.

 

I pretty much stopped going there for anything but the occasional DVD or small computer accessory… I guess that's true for a lot of people, since thy seem to be tanking… 

 

They should be doing great, so much potential…!

post #20 of 23

It's just like I've been saying all along: the Genius ads were terrific!

/s

 

I'm not too worried. Employees at all levels have difficulty managing change. It selects for those who can keep cool.

 

Apple has some big product announcements coming. Expect significant changes will be necessary to handle the higher traffic. Also expect some of Ron Johnson's former associates to be spreading FUD.

post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Scubadiver View Post

Are you suggesting that people have ever given another reason for people buying Apple products? Like what? Mind controlled zombies?

 

Ofcourse! We all know that the only reason people buy Apple products are because they're iSheep right? Since sheep wouldn't have any clue on how to refund their purchases, Apple ended up having the lowest return rate in the industry. The same sheep then returns to Apple to buy even more Apple products. It makes perfect sense!

post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by neosum View Post

 

Ofcourse! We all know that the only reason people buy Apple products are because they're iSheep right? Since sheep wouldn't have any clue on how to refund their purchases, Apple ended up having the lowest return rate in the industry. The same sheep then returns to Apple to buy even more Apple products. It makes perfect sense!

 

I am sheep? Who knew!

post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by tribalogical View Post

 

I am sheep? Who knew!

Ewe knew.

 

Cheers

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