KPMG Nunwood

UK Customer Experience Excellence Analysis 2016

Apple Store

Non-Grocery Retail

A visit to an Apple Store is a memorable customer experience. Products are often unboxed and on full display, meaning that customers have the opportunity to ‘play around’ and experiment with phones, iPads and laptops before they commit to a purchase. These demonstrations can often be accompanied by a one-to-one interaction with an employee, giving the shopper a chance to ask any questions they might have, and learn more about the range of products and services available.

It is perhaps no surprise, therefore, that Apple Store performs so well in the pillar of Personalisation, achieving an impressive 8.26. The brand looks for passion and spirit when it recruits, guiding its workers with a detailed staff handbook to help them deliver an enriching experience that remains in the minds of its shoppers. Furthermore, its employees are sufficiently knowledgeable and well-trained to be able to adapt the customer experience to the specific needs of the individual and, on occasions, make their own ‘judgment calls’ with the best interests of the shopper in mind. This can even lead to the customer being provided with a brand new piece of hardware, as one individual explained: “The on / off button of my iPhone stopped working – it just remained pressed down all the time, (I think it was possibly a known fault at the time). I took it back to the Apple Store where I bought it to see if they could do anything, even though it was out of warranty, and they gave me a brand new phone. No quibbles. Amazing customer service.”

Apple Store is similarly good at taking care of its employees, perhaps subscribing to the view that happy workers deliver a stronger customer experience, as they are more motivated to help the brand succeed. Apparently, at the start of a new day in an Apple outlet, the entire team is gathered together for a meeting in which two NPS (Net Promoter Score) responses from the previous day are read out. One of these will have been offered by a promoter, whilst the other will be from one of the brand’s detractors. The name of the employee who dealt with the promoter is read out publicly, so that they can be praised and encouraged, whereas the identity of the person who dealt with the detractor is kept private. And whilst this practice encourages the employees to stay motivated, and mindful of potential flashpoints, it also reminds them of their importance to the brand and helps them to feel part of the wider company.

It’s an initiative that appears to be working, as one shopper observed: “They are very empathetic when we go on online chats with them, and they help us out. Usually in the [Apple Store] they are very friendly too. They are trained that way, to please their customers.”

These practices make Apple Store a worthy addition to the UK top 10.

Company Profile

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Time and Effort