Apple or AT&T?
I’ve recently run into an interesting dilemma — will my loyalty to Apple win out against my disgust with AT&T?
I admit it. I’m been a lifelong Apple lover. My parents bought the family an Apple 2E in high school. (Remember those)? The first computer I bought was a Mac Classic. I own an iPod, not a MP3 player.
It’s Apple all the way. There’s been no turning back for me.
So of course I’ve been salivating to get my hands on an iPhone. However, to get an iPhone means I need to do business with AT&T.
Hence my dilemma.
I actually tried to order the iPhones and had such a horrible experience with AT&T’s customer service what I really want to do is cancel the entire order and do something else while I wait for Apple to (hopefully) open the iPhone to more carriers.
So this ends up being an interesting business lesson. Will my loyalty to Apple win out? Or will my anger with AT&T win out?
But the real question is where are YOU with your business? How loyal are your customers to you?
And what kind of experience does your customers get with you? Are they happy or just putting up with you?
Clearly the idea here is to build customer loyalty like Apple and avoid customer service issues that turn you into AT&T.
So how can you be like Apple? Well one (big) way is to give your customers what they want.
Apple’s customers want cool. They want innovative. They want a product they can rely on. Apple gives them all of that and more.
Your customers may not want cool and innovative (although I’m sure they want to rely on it). I mean, a computer company should be innovative, right? If you’re not a computer company then innovation may not be at the top of your customers’ list.
Your job is to find out what your customers want and give it to them. Do that, and you’ll be on the first step to creating powerful customer loyalty.
Now what about the flip side. How do you NOT create the AT&T experience? Well, amazingly enough it’s the same as creating customer loyalty — listen to what your customers want and giving it to them.
When you boil it down, people aren’t getting what they want from AT&T. What do they want? To make it easy to do business with them. Right now, it’s not. You have a problem and it’s very difficult to get it resolved.
How easy is it for your customers to resolve problems with you? Do you listen to them? Are you hearing the same problem over and over again or is it always a different problem? If it is a different problem, what is the common dominator?
And, most importantly, if you KNOW that, what steps have you taken to fix it?
It’s a 2-step process. First, find out what your customers want most and give it to them. Second, find out what your customers AREN’T getting from you, and fix that. That’s how you can create an amazing experience for your customers and have them keep coming back to you again and again.