Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Apple Appointment Genius

Bruce Temkin over at Customer Experience Matters posts about his recent experience at the Apple Genius Bar when his apple laptop broke down. The great thing was he could find out online where an in-store customer service bar was open, book an appointment at that bar right there and then, and when he was in store it told him where he was in line. Pretty basic stuff you'd think. But perhaps not so: people in call centres have long known that the caller likes to know how long they will be waiting and where in the queue they are, but in-store solutions tend to be pretty poor at this. Also, the staff member that delt with Bruce's problem knew what they were doing, again, something you would expect online, but maybe you don't see in store an awful lot any more. Finally, this was a neat example of using online applications to manage your commitments in the physical world. With more and more customers performing their product and services searches online, and THEN going to their local store to inspect the product physically, the boundaries are blurring between strictly online and off-line in terms of the buying and consumption process. Simple "click-2-book an appointment" with some one that knows what they are doing, is clearly as simple but powerful idea. Having met that person, why not rate them and your experience, so that others can choose to book an appointment with them or with another in-store person? One of the take aways for me is again, "customer like to know where they are in a process and the major opportunity is to meld online and mobile interactions".

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