I’m sure you have experienced the overcrowded, over heated, wall-to-wall people atmosphere inside an Apple Store.
Like a meat market, you need to take a number to be served, then wait upwards of a half-hour or more to see an associate. All the while you’re shoulder to shoulder with people who for some reason feel the need to come in, sit down at a computer, check their email, surf the web and chat online like it’s the local Starbucks with free laptops.
I just don’t get it. But I’m told it’s what makes the stores “sexy” – whatever that means.
I needed to get a new power supply for my laptop, so on Tuesday I headed over to the Apple Store in Boca Raton, FL. As usual, the place was swarming and I’m sure the number of people in there exceeded the number allowed by law.
There was little room to walk through the store, no clear sense of what to do or where to pay for your items. As I pushed and shoved my way to the back of the store, stepping on people’s feet and rubbing up against strangers, I found two versions of the charger I needed. One was 60 watts and the other was 85 watts.
Mistake #1 – Not knowing which one I needed.
I grabbed them both, thinking that someone in the red shirt with an apple on it would be able to tell me which one I needed and would sell me the appropriate one.
Mistake #2 – Thinking that everyone is knowledgeable on the products they sell.
After finding where to check out, I handed the associate the two chargers, explained what laptop I had and inquired whether I need the 60 or 80. His answer, “I don’t know, go over there and ask the girl in the red shirt.”
Looking where he was pointing, there were three girls in red shirts.
I slammed the chargers down on the table, said “f**k this,” and out the door I went. The associate, went on to the next customer.
Befuddled by what just happened, I ran the event over and over again in my head wondering why I just got hit with poor customer service from a company I thought I loved.
Maybe it was the heat in the store. Perhaps it was an overabundance of free loaders checking their email. Or, it was just another customer service person who doesn’t understand what their job is.
This incident reminded me that in business, you need to put your most knowledgable, outgoing people in customer facing roles. If you’re not doing that, you’re not doing yourself or your business any favors.
After all, you wouldn’t want one bad Apple to spoil the whole bunch.