Customer service win

Bad news may drive sales and traffic but, to build exceptional businesses, we need to understand good news and good service.

Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.

~ Douglas Adams

My laptop screen hinge made a horrible sound and dislocated itself a few days ago. It’s only 4 years old, I’ve looked after it well, and it wasn’t cheap so I had a scratch around online.


Google it

Entering the laptop serial number into the repair page predictably told me the machine was out of the manufacturer’s warrantee period. Undeterred, I checked the forums for this hinge issue to see if it was a common problem. An article on the apple support forums stated that this is a known issue and to pop into a store. Promising…

The article links through to the store finder, select store, view available appointments, select appointment, add quick note about hinge. Confirm.

Face to face

So today I head in to the Apple store. Greeted by a chap with an iPad who had my details on screen. I take a seat and explain problem in brief. I’m early so I have a quick play with the retina screen MacBook Pro (very nice) while I wait. Another chap came along and explained that there is a ‘Quality Programme’ for free-of-charge repairs for this issue during the first 4 years, that my laptop is 10 days past this but shhh we’ll sort it anyway.

I squiggle an attempt at a signature on their iPad authorising the repair, the laptop is whisked away and I am left standing outside slightly confused.

Was that it?

Ten minutes before I was a concerned customer: could they repair it, what would it cost, how long would it take, would there be an awkward confrontation, would I have to fork out for a new laptop, how long would the hinge on the new one last, and did they really value me as a customer?

Now I was just amazed at how easy and quick the interaction was. Joined up thinking from the customer’s perspective. No quibbling. No extra forms to fill in. No damage to customer relationship. Effortless multi-channel support and hand-offs. Slick customer experience. Just as it should be, particularly for a premium product. Good work Apple.

Now the question is: can I survive the next week without the laptop?

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Rob is a consultant, technologist, facilitator and outdoorsman. He lives with his wife in Henley-on-Thames.

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