Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bruised Apple

I was in two of Apple’s stores, several times, while buying my Mac mini. They don’t work like normal retail stores. They work along the lines of a high-end, trendy restaurant.

You don’t wander in and get asked by an employee “can I help you?” They are busy helping the forty other customers in the store. What you do is go online to get a reservation to talk to one of the employees; or, you wander in and are met by the “concierge” who puts your name on a list – if someone skips an appointment and there aren’t too many people on the list ahead of you, you might get to talk to someone in an hour or so.

My computer may well have a bad hard drive in it. It makes a strange noise while cogitating. I called an “Apple Expert” who agreed with me and offered to make an appointment for me at the nearest store to have the drive swapped out. First (and only) available appointment: 4:15 p.m. on Friday. “How ‘bout Monday?” “Sorry, the schedule only goes through Saturday, you might want to call or go online Friday and see what’s available then.” Let’s see, I’m calling today and there is one appointment available over the next three days, if I call or go online in two days there will be how many appointments available over the then next three days?

When you have fifteen or so employees and always have forty or so customers in a store, is it too much to ask to assign an employee or two to walk-in customers? I suppose the answer is yes if you model your business on a fancy restaurant.


Kvatch said...

That's interesting. The Apple Stores here in Babylon by the Bay actually *do* have 3 or 4 people that circulate to help people on the sales floor (w/out appointments). Of course, these few unlucky souls are mobbed.

fermicat said...

I think it is all part of their "Mac snob" marketing.

Dave said...

Marketing is before the fact, bad service is after the fact, see the next post.

eda said...