Apple Store Service Model
I recently visited Apple Store at ifc Hong Kong to buy an iPad. It is because the new iPad is not available at online store at that time.
The ifc store has two level. The lower floor is mainly for product demonstration, such as iPhone, MacBook, etc.
The upper floor is for sales as well as Genius Bar. Most computer shop in Hong Kong separate sales and support. They will ask customer looking for support to go to their dedicate support center, usually in come not so convenient place, such as a suite inside a commercial building, or even worse, a unit inside industrial building at remote area in Hong Kong. I love the idea that Apple uses Genius Bar to "repair" the relationship with customer. It also demonstrate the would-be buyer how well Apple's support service is.
Guy Kawasaki wrote a blog "10 Things You Can Learn From the Apple Store". Guy highlights 10 points. I would like to highlight few interesting point below:
"Apple has a non-commissioned sales floor for a reason—employees are not pressured to “make a sale.” Instead they are empowered to do what they believe is the right thing to do."
Apple five steps of service:
Approach with a customized, warm greeting.
Probe politely to understand the customer’s needs.
Present a solution the customer can take home today.
Listen for and address unresolved questions.
End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return.
Apple's approach to sales is very different from traditional sales model AIDA:
A - Attention (Awareness): attract the attention of the customer.
I - Interest: raise customer interest by focusing on and demonstrating advantages and benefits (instead of focusing on features, as in traditional advertising).
D - Desire: convince customers that they want and desire the product or service and that it will satisfy their needs.
A - Action: lead customers towards taking action and/or purchasing.
Apple's approach in retail is a luxury to small shops. Small shops struggle every month just to have enough income to cover high rental in Hong Kong. Small shops do not have the time and money to build a long term relationship with customer. Once your shop is successful, the landlord will increase your rent to share the pie.