Waiting for Customer Service
I’m sitting, waiting in the Apple store customer service area in the Manchester Arndale centre.
I have been waiting for almost two hours now.
All I am waiting for is an expert who will no doubt tell me my phone is not repairable.
That’s ok, it is five years old and it has had its knocks and bumps and the last bump may have taken things beyond that threshold.
In the past, Apple customer service has been faultless. I mean, there was one time when I had an intermittent pixel on my phone and even though I couldn’t demonstrate it on the day… Apple swapped my phone without any quibble or question.
Previously, I have booked appointments for repairs and turned up on time, been seen promptly and things fixed well. Often, I have expected to pay for something and it has been done for free. I have always been really happy with the way the workers at the stores have dealt with me and it has normally been pleasant.
However… This time, I definitely get the impression that something has changed or Apple are losing the battle.
Customer service has definitely been their strong point in the past but the system has changed and now It feels like there’s not enough communication.
When Apple were focussed on pre-booked appointments, this inevitably led to people who just walked in being turned away on the day. I watched this frustrate people in the past. My take was that it was harsh but fair.
The balance in Apple’s system must have shifted towards the walk-in customer without enough adjustment. I tried desperately to pre-book an appointment. There was nothing available at all for the whole of the next week. A week is the maximum available advance booking time. So I walked in, and took a chance and now I’m left sitting waiting for a text to tell me it’s my turn.
I have asked a few times but get nothing other than “we are waiting for cancellations or people running early.” I don’t get the impression that Apple have either enough geniuses or enough pre-booking appointments available. Apple also seem to be taking too many walk-in fixes for the system to cope with. It is very frustrating waiting over two and a half hours without being approached or told what the score is.
I’m not bad-mouthing Apple or just venting my spleen. I want to learn from this experience for my own business.
Customers need to be kept informed at each stage of their journey and communicated with. It is vital for any company. I’ll be looking at how to ensure people feel well informed and kept up-to-date as much as possible.
Running on time is also really important in any situation and from today’s frustration, I will be making even more effort to stay punctual.
In fact only the other week, I was running late and a customer complained that they felt short-changed due to missing some appointment time. Immediately, I made sure they had the ‘missed time’ at the next session and didn’t charge.
As a business, I aim to provide a level of excellent customer service above what people expect. That is how Apple ‘won’ a lot of people I know. They delivered over and above the expectation. I believe we deliver a great customer service experience. I want to make it even better.
Your feedback is important to me. If you can see a way your experience can be improved, please, share it with me. Use the comment section below, send an email, tweet to me, contact me via Facebook or Instagram… Any way you like. Let’s have a conversation to improve my customer service.
I’m still waiting.
It has taken more than three hours, a whole blog has been written and I’m still waiting. Where’s my sleeping bag?