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September 14th, 2001

Apple Store Experience

Last week, I visited my local Apple Store for the first time. I’m here to report that even if you don’t use Macs, you might find something positive there.

I’m big on customer service, and won’t mind throwing a spotlight on a company that knows how to treat its customers. At the Apple Store, Apple has made it abundantly clear that it understands. First off, the stores are sparsely decorated and clean. The stores are well staffed with people that won’t pester you every five minutes, and are simultaneously within reach – including the techie-favoring Genius Bar.

You have free reign over nearly every computer in the place. You can pick up a laptop, and see how heavy it is; CompUSA, by comparison, bolts the things down. You can access the net from any machine in the place. You can take pictures with a digicam in the store, and then use them instantly on a computer; same goes for a video camera. Amazing: you can actually use the computer as you might use it at home!

The checkout process is just as sophisticated. The receipt is the most complete one I’ve ever seen: you have warranty information right there on the receipt for each and every product you’ve purchased, plus the tech support number. It’s all grabbed from a database at the time of purchase, so you don’t have to fumble for documents later. The receipt is served up in a small folder, which includes another “Welcome” sheet as well as the store’s business card.

Even the bathrooms are nice.

Very few stores do retail right. Apple does. -pm

Posted in Technology

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