Saturday, March 28, 2009

Why Apple Will Rule the World.


In today's hard up economy, any company whose product or service is non-essential (meaning neither food nor shelter related IMHO), needs to find a way to keep the customers they have, and just as important, find new ones. While I consider my laptop, and certainly high speed internet access essential, I am a spoiled web 2.0 geek and likely not the norm.

My current computer is an HP laptop running Vista. I call it the "Kat-Box" because it really is a piece of shit. I have had it for 2 years, and so far the motherboard has been replaced, and this past month, the hard drive died. Good thing I got the 3 year warranty, eh? Apparently if it breaks down 2 more times in the next year, I'll get a brand new laptop at no cost. Not that I would wish for my computer to die again, but it makes me think about what my next computer will be.

A Mac.

I am throwing in the towel on PCs. They really are garbage and I've had enough of being abused by crappy Microsoft operating systems. If you had asked me 5 years ago what I thought about Macs, I would have said "they are good for graphic designers" and left it at that. My little brother has one, my mom has two. My musician friends have them, and you know what they all have in common? They all love their computers. They also sing the praises of the support they have received from Apple. One friend told me that Apple actually replaced his laptop's hard drive at no cost, even though it wasn't under warranty anymore. Amazing.

This brings me to the concept of "Customer Experience". It is a concept because so few companies have mastered it (I'm looking at you Microsoft). When companies master the customer experience, they find ways to surprise and delight their customers. Their customers become advocates for their products, sing their praises to anyone and everyone. They treat their customers with respect, provide excellent and reliable products and in turn, they are rewarded with customer loyalty. Seems win-win all around.

With my last computer crash, I lost all of my songs in my itunes. Mind you there were still on my ipod, but I am a dumbass and as much as I dig Apple, itunes is not the easiest program to navigate. I messed up the sync and instead of putting all of the songs on my ipod onto my computer, my computer wiped out my ipod. I purchase most of my music from itunes, so you can imagine my distress when I realized what I had done. Hundreds of dollars of music, gone.

But I had faith that the folks at Apple would rise to the occasion and help me out. They would not punish me for being an idiot, they would make those downloads available to me again and be nice about it too. I am happy to report, I was correct in my positive outlook.

My first email:
My computer crashed and I got a new hard drive. All of the music I have purchased through itunes is no longer there, and I want to download it from itunes again. How do I do this?

itunes Response (less than 24-hours later):
Dear Katrina,

My name is Barbara and I have been lucky enough to receive your email. I hope you are having a great day so far. Now let me see what I can do for you.

I understand the titles you purchased from the iTunes Store with account "youremail@gmail.com" were lost. I am sorry to hear this occurred. Thank you for reporting this concern.

iTunes Store Customer Support will let you download (at no charge) all the titles you purchased on this account that are still available. This does not include any item that has been modified or removed from the store since you purchased it.

Please note that you may download your purchases only once, so this is an exception. Also note that Apple does not offer protection for the loss of data from your hard disk, so I recommend that you back up your iTunes library as soon as possible and thereafter on a regular basis. I'll include backup instructions in this email.

Any movies you may have rented will not be made available for you to download again. If you rented a movie and were unable to finish watching it, please reply to let me know.

Follow these steps to download the 262 available items:
(....directions followed, blah blah blah)

I would like to hear back from you on this, if only to ensure the download of the replaced items is successful. Please do let me know if I can be of further assistance. Here's wishing you a wonderful day from iTunes Store Support.

Sincerely,

Barbara
iTunes Store Customer Support
http://www.apple.com/support/itunes

Please Note: I work Wednesday - Saturday, 8 AM -5 PM CST

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you. You may receive an AppleCare survey email; any feedback you provide would be greatly appreciated.

That, my friends, is terrific customer support. She followed up with me a few days later to ensure I had been able to download my songs, and I responded telling her yes, and thank you for the wonderful support. My Michael Jackson "Thriller" and Rihanna "Good Girl Gone Bad" recordings could not be recovered, but I can live with that. Because of this positive customer experience, I'm not only spreading the word on behalf of Apple (free advertising and a testimonial to boot), I am going to continue to support them by purchasing their products. I have one more year on this laptop, and then I'll be joining the MacNation. Maybe I should add a countdown ticker to my homepage!

5 comments:

  1. WOW now THAT'S customer service - thank you for posting this!

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  2. Chris and I are MacWhores for life. Our last Mac count: 2 MacBooks, 1 Airport Express, 2 iPods, 2 iPhones. It's bordering on ridiculous. You'll love it though!

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  3. Nicole Maciuba9:44 AM

    Hey Ket
    Adam bought an HP laptop about 5 years ago and the thing was a lemon. The hard drive died on us shortly after we brought it home and after we replaced it, it died again. I've never seen my husband so mad. He called up HP, yelled at them for 30 minutes and demanded a full refund for the system. They complied. There is not a single HP item in our house now.
    We've had our Sony PC for about 3-4 years now and it has been good to us but as Adam says... Microsoft sucks. He wants to switch us to a Mac as our next computer... Like you, we've heard nothing but rave reviews from Mac users... less viruses, less software issues, great customer service. What's not to like?

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  4. I am a PC girl for life - but love Apple's other products. Was in The Apple Store in the Eaton Centre on the weekend. OH WHAT FUN. I dragged my father in there as well (LOL). I'm feenin' for an iPod Touch. My 4th gen iPod isn't cutting it anymore.

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  5. Anonymous9:11 AM

    Linux will beat Windows for sure, but will Linux or Mac win?

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