The secret of a great Customer Experience – Apple case study

by Colin Shaw on September 26, 2012

The secret of a great Customer Experience - Apple case study
We all know about the phenomenon that is Apple. But what is their secret? Well, I am pleased to report it is what we have been preaching for ten years. Their secret is focusing on Customer Emotions and looking at the psychological aspects of a Customer Experience as revealed by Gizmodo. They obtained Apples Genius Training book and Gizmodo comments: No need to mince words: This is psychological training.

We wrote about this in our last book Customer Experience: Future trends and insight’s Palgrave McMillan, 2010. Apple is a prime example of how this trend of looking at what we call Experience Psychology which is starting to take hold.

Gizmodo observed that:

The manual could easily serve as the Humanity 101 textbook for a robot university, but at Apple, it’s an exhaustive manual to understanding customers and making them happy. Sales, it turns out, take a backseat to good vibes—almost the entire volume is dedicated to empathizing, consoling, cheering up, and correcting various Genius Bar confrontations. The assumption, it’d seem, is that a happy customer is a customer who will buy things.

Apple demonstrates how to implement a subconscious experience using gestures as part of their experience. For example; Apple train their Genius’s that stroking your chin makes you look thoughtful as if you are evaluating the situation. When you want to look like you are collaborating you unbutton your coat which shows you are getting down to work.

This is the whole area of the subconscious experience that our regular readers will know we have been discussing for years. It is highly gratifying to see that Apple is using this in the design of their Customer Experience.

The manual explains to Apple Genius’s how to evoke Customer’s emotions , empathy being one of the main ones. Apple has developed a list of specific words they are not allowed to use in order to create the right experience. Certainly nothing should be negative.

They focus on Customer emotions and train their employees on it. Apple uses “Three Fs”: Feel, Felt, and Found. Gizmono give an example of how this would work:

This works especially well when the customer is mistaken or has bad information.”

For example:

Customer: This Mac is just too expensive.

Genius: I can see how you’d feel this way. I felt the price was a little high, but I found it’s a real value because of all the built-in software and capabilities.

The manoeuvre is brilliant. The Genius has switched places with the customer. He is she and she is he, and maybe that laptop isn’t too expensive after all. He Found it wasn’t, at least.

We all know the Apple store experience is great. This now starts to reveal how it’s done. I would suggest that you check out the following blogs on this subject that may further enlighten you.

What is a subconscious experience?

How do you use Customer emotions and psychological techniques within your Journey mapping to design your Customer Experience?

Colin ShawColin Shaw is founder & CEO of Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s first organizations devoted to customer experience. Colin is an international author of four best-selling books. Beyond Philosophy provide consulting, specialised research & training from offices in Atlanta, Georgia and London, England.

Follow Colin Shaw on Twitter: @ColinShaw_CX

Colin ShawThe secret of a great Customer Experience – Apple case study