03 Aug 2011 Purchasing at its best – why great customer experience makes it easy to part with cash
I love the Apple Store – they make it so easy to part with your cash and the pleasure is only accentuated when you contrast it to the level of customer service that the banks offer.
Today, within 30 minutes I experienced both ends of the customer service spectrum. The first at a bank the second at the Apple Store. I went to deposit some money at my bank. Unusually, it was a cheque but it was sent from America where, unlike the UK, such things are common place. The amount was denominated in USD and my account is in GBP so I expected at least a few questions. But no. 15 minutes of form filling, sharing information with the bank that they already had only to be told that it could take 6 weeks for the cheque to clear. This was a mainstream retail bank in the UK, Lloyds TSB, presented with a Citibank cheque. This is 2011. I was not dreaming.
Next I go to the Apple Store. I am reluctantly buying Microsoft Office (again) because Numbers just isn’t up to the task of being a spreadsheet. I take the product off the shelf and hand it to one of many assistants eager to help. I put my card into the card reader I’m handed then, as if by magic, all of my relevant details, name address, email – have appeared on the assistant’s iphone app. “Are these details correct?” he asks. They are all in order and he promises me an emailed receipt. I’m out of there in less then 3 minutes £100 worse off but feeling happier than when I walked in.
I want to buy from people and organizations that treat me like a customer and it’s not just in my personal life. It’s true also of professional purchasing. When I select a supplier, their culture matters. The way I will be treated matters. The way my company is treated matters.
Is it just me that thinks that these are amongst the most important supplier selection criteria?