6 things I learned about a good business while sitting in an Apple Store
By Lafe Taylor
Everyone knows Apple is all about aesthetics. They have made billions of dollars from focusing on design aesthetics and their stores represent that very point. The shelving, the clean store design, the open space, the employee dress and the large visual displays that would make anyone think they could be a world class designer, are all visually enticing. Everything in the store is focused on selling you on why you need to have a new Apple product or become a part of the Apple culture.
- Employees immediately greet you as you walk-in the store
This may not seem like such a big deal, but the immediate engagement to assess your needs is a welcome reminder of good customer service
- Everyone knows their role and the role of their co-workers
Knowing your role and the roles around you are important because it helps streamline customer service. Knowing where to properly troubleshoot and/or direct your customers is both helpful and efficient.
- Customer engagement
As I am typing this, I'm noticing how all the customers are completely engaged with sales staff. There is always something for you to do while you visit. If all the staff are completely occupied then you can sit down in front of a shiny new computer or device.
They have a schedule and they stick to it. If you come to the store with a problem, they'll add you to their schedule immediately. If their is no time available, then you just have to come back. This at first may seem sucky if you're in a rush, but it actually allows the Apple store geniuses to give you the individualized time you need to troubleshoot your problem(s) adequately.
This built-in protocol for time and priority management is something business owners should definitely strive to master. As a small business owner, striving to master the schedule is a daily activity.
- They are accommodating to my needs
I arrived at the Apple store with Lamar around 9:40am for a battery replacement. They were booked at the time of our arrival so we had to schedule an appointment to be seen. Our appointment was at 12pm so instead of leaving and coming back (this Apple store is located in a shopping mall), as true mobile developers we decided to work in the mall while we wait. I unfortunately didn't have a power-cord to my macbook, so we went back to the Apple store for a charge. When I told them my need they happily supplied me with a power cord to charge my computer. As a matter of fact, I've now been inside the Apple store working for the past 2.5 hours.
I'm not sure I would have analyzed the operations of the Apple store as much had I not sat in there for 2 and half hours, but I'm glad I did. When it comes to running a business and being an entreprenuer it's often the small things that are overlooked. Taking time out and observing how the big boys run their operations can give you an insightful look at strategies you can implement to improve your own business.
Posted: September 3, 2013
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Lafe Taylor co-founded 212ths LLC back in 2010. In addition to the passion he has for his family & business, Lafe is an avid mma fan. You can follow Lafe on Twitter.