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April 4, 2012

How has Apple managed to turn its stores into the most profitable retailer on the planet?

As author and communications expert Carmine Gallo explains, they do so by offering great customer service far beyond simply selling products -- it seeks to enrich lives.

In this Monster video, Gallo outlines some of Apple’s customer service techniques from his book, The Apple Experience, strategies that have made Apple renowned the world over -- and that can help your business as well.

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Biography

Carmine Gallo is the communications coach for the world’s most admired brands. His book The Apple Experience: Secrets to Building Insanely Great Customer Loyalty (McGraw-Hill) is the third in his Apple trilogy, including The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs and The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs. A popular keynote speaker, Gallo has addressed executives at Intel, Cisco, Medtronic, Hewlett Packard, SAP, Pfizer, Linked In, Chevron, and other global brands.Visit his website, Gallo Communications.

Video Transcript:

The Apple store is the most profitable retailer on the planet generating $5600 per square foot on average.

Now a lot of people credit Apple’s success to its elegant product or iconic store design. But there’s so much more to it and for small business owners, learning some of Apple’s secrets will help them stand out from the competition, regardless of what industry they’re in.

I think the soul of Apple is its people. How they’re hired, trained, motivated, how they’re taught to communicate with customers. Apple employees elevate the experience. So here are five ways Apple store employees turn everyday transactions into really memorable experiences.

1) Apple employees are not on commission. That means they can spend as much time with the customer as that person desires with no fear of reprimand.

2)  Apple sees feedback as a gift. Apple store employees receive feedback nearly every day and advise on how to improve a customer’s experience. So a business owner must be comfortable with giving feedback in a positive and empowering way -- but they also must be comfortable in receiving feedback as well.

3) Apple hire for smiles. During the recruiting process, job candidates must be friendly to everybody and be willing to work in a team. You see Apple values personality and passion as much if not more than it values technical proficiency. Apple doesn’t care how much you know as much as they want to know how much you care about people and about providing customers with really an extraordinary experience.   

4) Apple stores recruiters or managers ask themselves one important question when sizing up a job candidate. That question is,“Could this person have gone toe to toe with Steve Jobs?” It simply means, “Does the candidate have opinion and are they unafraid to express those opinions?”

You see, Apple does not want wallflowers, they want employees who are dedicated to the customer’s experience. And when they see something that needs improvement, they’ll say so. 

5) Finally, Apple store employees are empowered to do what is right for the customer. So that means if they spent 50 minutes talking to a customer about sports and only 10 minutes selling a product, that’s okay, as long as the customer had a great experience.

Empowerment is a powerful motivator. Engaged workforces are those that offer a combination of praise, positive feedback and empowerment. So those are just a few of the techniques that we explored in the Apple experience.

Above all, in all the research that I’ve done, I’ve learned that the Apple store is not in the business of selling computers, it’s in the business of enriching lives. And that has made all the difference.

 

 
 
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