The Power of the Individual

When we talk about good Customer Experience (CX), we so often talk about the customer journey, the technology, or the physical spaces we create, when so much can simply come down to the individual with which we interact. I had a recent experience at the Apple store that was noteworthy not because of the great retail presence Apple has created, which still holds up as a standard for retail formats, but because of Nick. Interestingly, Apple also gets it. The survey Apple sent to gauge my experience (screenshot below) calls out Nick as the prime feature of my shopping experience.

Nick didn’t follow a script, he didn’t quote company policy, he wasn’t worried about a checklist of promotions or keywords to weave into our conversation, and he didn’t rush to finish with me to move on to another customer. He took a few minutes to establish a personal connection and listened to what I was looking to accomplish, then offered sound advice.

Of course he leveraged a deep understanding of Apple products and stayed with me all the way through check-out. An usher at a hockey game, a cable tech installing service, a retail store employee and even a contact center agent, can all make or break your customer experience.

It’s up to company leadership to establish and live clear customer-focused values, incent and reward the right behaviors, create an environment for success, and hire for attitude. Sounds simple and easy but tough to do, particularly at scale. In the case of Apple, they asked for specific feedback in my own words to share with Nick. No doubt a great way to recognize Nick and highlight what he did so well, reinforcing and perpetuating the positive.

People are a critical and complicated component of the service experience. My personal history with Apple suggests they understand this and have a good working formula, Apple continues to hold the top position in sales per square foot at $5,546, as reported by CoStar.

About Riptide Partners

Riptide Partners helps companies make the enhancements needed to compete and win in a consumer-centric world. Applying insight and techniques gained through years of achievement, the Riptide Partners team offers distinctly nimble CX solutions tailored to meet your company’s needs and context.

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