There was a great article in the WSJ today on the success of Apple in retail. After so many others have tried and failed, such as Dell, here comes Apple and they make this work as well. It is even more fascinating that companies whose core is retail are using Apple as the model.
What's the difference? It is the same difference between every company in their respective categories. DISCIPLINE.
Does your company have the discipline to have the Right People doing the Right Things in the Right Way....EVERY TIME!
Most companies will accept poor hiring, limited training and a large dose of "hope" to serve their customers. Not Apple! They bring in the best, pay them well, and give them a detailed recipe for success. They even have it in a great acronym that anyone can remember APPLE.
- Approach the customer with a personalized warm welcome (NOT ignore the customer until they beg you to help them, which was my experience at Best Buy this past weekend)
- Probe politely to understand the customer's needs (NOT "what do you want!")
- Present a solution for the customer to take home today (NOT "here, try this, it might work")
- Listen for and resolve issues or concerns (wow...listen to the customer, a fundamental)
- End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return (NOT stuff the receipt in their hand and go to the next guy)
But to make this work requires leadership at all levels (from the floor to the executive suite). It is very impressive that Apple has been able to support rapid growth AND maintain continuity of service.
Apple is a great role model for growing businesses.
What do you think?