Apple has been in the news a lot lately for the whole Apple iPhone 4 antenna-gate affair. Check out how many times and all of the differing views that exist here. Steve Jobs himself held a press conference a couple of weeks ago and admitted that the way that they had handled the affair was not the best and that the iPhone 4 was not perfect. He also made some suspect claims that all phones have this issue and then offered free bumper cases (Apple’s way to fix the real or perceived problems with the antenna) or full refunds on if people wanted to return their new phones.
I don’t have an iPhone 4 and I’m not sure when, or if, I will ever get one as I am in a long contract with my existing iPhone 3GS, which I think is pretty good.
Anyway, enough of the stuff that they may have got wrong and onto my point about why they still get a lot right.
Yesterday, I was delivering a workshop for a client on customer care, funnily enough. On returning home, I realised that I had left my power cable for my Macbook in the conference room at my client’s offices and I did not have a spare. The situation that I was faced with was a long detour back to their offices the next day to retrieve the cable or get a new one as a stopgap (I was due to go back to my clients office next week). Making the decision that the long detour was not going to work today, I dropped into the Apple Store in Brighton first this morning to see if they had any replacement cables. They did and while I didn’t want to buy a new one I didn’t think I had much option. I explained all of this to George who helped me locate what I was looking for and then he said ‘When you get your old one back, you can bring this new back here, even if it has been opened and used, show us the receipt and we’ll give you a refund’.
I’m not sure if this is policy or whether it was the initiative of George. It may also be a clever Jedi mind trick based on an assumption that once bought the likelihood that I will take it back for a refund is very low. Do I care? No.
Why? Because, I think the most important thing for me is the way that George made me feel about them and the transaction. He and they solved my problem. In fact, they took my problem away by offering me a refund if I took it back. It may be me but I thought that was brilliant. What I do is now up to me. Will I take the new power cable back? Actually, I may do just to see what happens when I do.
Whether this is policy or initiative or clever or well-intended, I do not know. What I do know is that it reminded me of the following:
Thank you to George and the Apple Store in Brighton you made my day a little easier. Keeping doing the little things….they add up to a lot.
What do you think: Jedi mind tricks, policy, initiative or all of the above?
Do you have any stories like this? I’d like to hear them.
Thanks to paulofierro for the image.