New Book Explains Apple’s Retail Principles

March 19, 2012

In the world of bloggers, there is no end to the articles that try to list, summarize and explain Apple’s retail store business secrets, especially related to customer service, and how they can be mastered by other companies. But in reality, all of Apple’s so-called secrets are well-known principles of business. Instead, the challenge at mastering Apple-like customer service is combining and coordinating the retail principles through a unified company and personnel culture. Now a new book provides the best explanation yet of this retail culture and how other companies can take advantage of it to improve their own results. The Apple Experience: Secrets to Building Insanely Great Customer Loyalty (McGraw-Hill) by Carmine Gallo starts from the beginnings of the Apple retail chain, and marches through the process of hiring employees, building customer trust, developing a customer feedback loop and more.

The 256-page book covers every element of business and customer service, laying out Apple’s principles accompanied by anecdotes that reinforce the how and why. Each chapter ends with a “Checkout” list that summarizes the key points for success.

In one chapter Gallo advises to “empower your employees,” an authority that Apple store employees frequently use at the Genius Bar to delight visitors who have product problems. He explains the Apple stores’ five steps of service represented by the acronym A.P.P.L.E., and explain how they apply in the real world of business, retail or otherwise.

Chapter titles from other sections of the book hint at its thoroughness : Create Wow Moments, Eliminate the Clutter, Sell the Benefit. Gallo also delves into the physical world to explain why the retail stores themselves are places that people want to visit again and again.

Gallo has written two previous books about Steve Jobs and his talents (innovation and presentation skills), and this book rounds out that knowledge base, collecting the wisdom and experience of Apple in one place, plainly explained.

The book is available now as both a hardcover and Kindle edition (no iBook edition yet).

Disclaimer: I am mentioned in the book and was consulted by the author during the writing process. I also received a review copy of the book. — Gary Allen

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Actual Employee March 19, 2012 at 1844

“an authority that Apple store employees frequently use at the Genius Bar to delight visitors who have product problems”

Except that they are taking that away from us, mainly due to customer abuse. Gone are the days of the one time exception and the ‘only 10 days out of warranty’ exceptions. Now you break your iPhone you better have Apple Care + or you are paying. Same with the iPad since Friday. Don’t like it, tough. You can scream and cuss and whatever but the managers aren’t budging. Claim you called Apple Care and they said we’d replace it, if there’s no note there’s no coverage. And so on.

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Carmine Gallo March 20, 2012 at 1327

From the Author

In my book I did add the caveat that the policy of replacing products out of warranty might end by the time it was published precisely because of your observation — customer abuse. Thanks for verifying. Too many customers were sharing their experiences on Facebook and Twitter and too many expected the same treatment. That said, I do think there are many other ways employees are empowered to do what’s right for the customer. Would love to hear more from you. Thank you.

Carmine Gallo

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