Top 6 Lessons SaaS Companies Can Learn From Apple’s Customer Service

There's a reason why Apple is one of the most popular brands worldwide, it lies in its customer service. This article provides insight into 6 Lessons you can learn from Apple's customer service.

Top 6 Lessons SaaS Companies Can Learn From Apple’s Customer Service

Apple has always shown high quality and sophistication when it comes to its product. However, there’s another less glamorous aspect of the company – its customer service.

Through its remarkable customer service, Apple nurtured customers by turning one-time buyers into loyal brand advocates. Not only that, but the company has also been able to hire a diverse workforce that has positively influenced its growth.

There's a lot you can learn from Apple customer service. In this article, you'll learn what makes Apple customer service unique and 6 important lessons you can apply in your SaaS business.

Here’s what we’ll consider in this article:

  1. What makes Apple's customer service unique?
  2. Top 6 Lessons you can learn from Apple Customer service
  • Adopt a customer-first strategy
  • Choose the marketing channels that work for your business
  • Don't be afraid to make big changes
  • Teach your employees about applied psychology
  • Optimize the customer buying journey
  • Create a rigorous hiring process

3. Wrapping it up

What makes Apple's customer service unique

Have you ever wondered where Apple's unique customer experience originated from? It wasn't conceived during a brainstorming session in a Silicon Valley office. Apple sent its store managers to attend the Ritz Carlton hospitality training. Ritz Carlton is a hotel chain that provides the ideal customer service. The company does its best to exceed customers' expectations and fulfill the requirements of its customers.

Apple's goal was to learn how Ritz-Carlton provides hospitality exceptionally well and apply the insight into its customer service. When Apple first opened its stores, it instilled hospitality principles and goals in its employees. This resulted in seamless, genuine, and simple customer service.

With that being said, let's move on to some of the tips you can learn from Apple customer service.

Top 6 Lessons you can learn from Apple Customer service

1. Adopt a customer-first strategy

When you analyze Apple's Customer service, you will learn that the company focuses on fostering customer relationships and improving their overall buying experience.

Instead of focusing on driving sales, Apple has adopted a customer-first strategy to help customers have the best buying experience and engage them in the A.P.P.L.E. way.

  • A – approach and welcome a person in a personalized way
  • P – probe to find out what the customer needs
  • P – present a solution that solves the person's needs
  • L – listen to resolve any issues the person might have
  • E – end the conversation with a fond farewell

In terms of personalization, Apple uses proactive service features to make customers more comfortable with the store's environment. For instance, when you walk into an Apple store after making an appointment, the employees use your name when introducing themselves.

This approach makes customers feel important and at ease with their overall experience.

As you can see, Apple provides a unique approach to customer service. Whether you're looking to grow your startup or enterprise business, you can learn from this strategy by putting your customers first to improve the customer experience and keep them coming back.

2. Choose marketing channels that work for your business

Before Steve Jobs took over in 1997, Apple relied on third-party retailers to sell its products. However, the company wasn't pleased with this strategy and it ceased partnerships with over 10,000 third-party retailers. After this, the company opened its first store and revamped its entire website in support of its decision to make customer service in-house.

What did Apple gain from this move? The company gained more control over every part of the customer experience.

This strategy might not be ideal for your SaaS business. If you prefer to use a different option, then figure out the best marketing channels to promote your products and provide great support to customers. Not only that, you need to ensure that each marketing channel is used by your customers to contact your support team. Popular social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are ideal options to connect and provide the right assistance to customers.

Think about how to start active conversations with customers on these platforms. How do you connect with them? How do you respond fast to their requests and comments? Proper customer engagement is crucial to gaining more control over every part of the customer experience.

3. Don't be afraid to make big changes

Apple has shown that although making changes may be hard, it can provide great benefits to a business.

Here are some ways Apple made big transitions:

  • It reduced reliance on third-party retailers and stopped partnerships with over 10,000 stores
  • When its laptop sales went up, Apple opened its own stores
  • It implemented a store within a store, like Comp USA and Best Buy

Each major change wasn't an easy decision. However, the company reduced risks by implementing a marketing strategy at each stage. Even when most people doubted the success of such bold changes, Apple's Customer service remained strong and achieved success. At $5,546, Apple stores have the highest sales per square foot in the US retail market.

4. Teach your employees about applied psychology

Another thing to learn about Apple Customer service is how its reps deal with customers by applying psychology.

Applied psychology should play a role in how your employees treat customers. It is an important strategy in sales and can make a great impact on your company's bottom line.

In Apple's case, a section of the Apple genius training student workbook focuses on people's skills. Here's an example of page 45 that covers nonverbal gestures.

Apple: An example of page 45 that covers nonverbal gestures in their training student workbook. (Source)

These psychological tips go beyond understanding body movements. It includes almost every possible interaction with a customer. Apple focused on training its employees based on psychology and people skills.

If you wish to provide the best customer service, you must be willing to invest your resource to train your reps to treat customers the right way. When you set the right systems and processes to train your employees, then you can provide a superior customer experience

5. Optimize the customer buying journey

After Apple made a major transition to have its own stores, it had more control over its customer service. The way Apple designed its store played a big role in its customers' buying journey and experience. The store was broken down into three distinct sections:

  • At the entrance of the store, you'd find the Apple product line shared by the target demographic
  • The center of the store was mainly for how a customer can use an Apple product. This part of the store was broken down into sections for music, photos, kids, and movies.
  • The back of the store focused on solving technical issues. This is where customers could get their products repaired and resolve any problems

As you can see, this part of Apple's Customer service requires some level of creativity. You'd need to understand your customer journey and align each stage with the final stages of the buying process.

Also, to give customers a more personalized experience, you'd need to use your customer data to segment your customer base, just like Apple did with its target demographic.

6. Create a rigorous hiring process

When it comes to the hiring process, Apple makes it quite tough for its candidates. Depending on the job role, candidates may need to complete five interviews over six weeks before they are considered for a position.

Apple store owners go beyond academic qualifications when interviewing candidates. Carmine Gallo, author of the book the Apple experience highlights two questions that Apple employees are usually asked:

  • Is this candidate capable of a Ritz-Carlton level of customer experience?
  • Does the candidate display grit?

What has been the outcome of this hiring philosophy? Apple has been able to create a diverse workforce who share character traits but different cultural and social backgrounds.

When it comes to the hiring process, you need to look beyond a person's career experience. Also, consider the importance of having a diverse workforce. Diversity in your company can be a great benefit that can bring out the best in your employees.

Wrapping it up

When you assess the Apple Customer service, you will notice its unique approach to creating a personalized buying experience for its customers. To apply some of its strategies, start by understanding your customers, hiring the best employees for your business, and optimizing the customer journey.

Remember to set the right systems and processes to hire and train reps to ensure long-term business profitability and improved customer support.

Finally, the most important key point is – to always look beyond and never be afraid to make changes. Observe leading companies in your industry, and figure out what they are doing best that can also positively impact your business. Though, you should always consider possible outcomes and take calculated risks.

With Engage, you can build a better relationship with your customers and improve their experience just like Apple did.  You can create unique customer segments and send personalized messages to your customers via email, SMS, push notifications and in-app messages.

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