Apple retail stores seemed like a move backwards in the world of build to order customization. Why invest in bricks and mortar when cyberspace is so inexpensive. True, a Mac is still a thing of beauty- a piece of art, that people want to get their hands on, to touch, to feel, but, at the most expensive locations in retail? Something didn’t make sense. What did Apple know that everyone else was missing?
Well, one thing about the brand- just like Harley Davidson, Mac heads like to congregate with each other and the stores serve as a place to hang out with like minded folks. Just as Starbucks is trying to be that third place between home and work, Apple stores are a place where Mac people feel comfortable.
But the big news is that the Genius bars, where Apple trained support people offer free support, end up selling something to 70% of the people that come in to see them. Face to face support is becoming rarer by the day- and this is Apple’s secret weapon. Where did they get this idea? From the hospitality industry- the model was the conceirge service of five star luxury hotels.
So next time your are thinking about how to increase customer volume, the answer might be personalized support from your very own geniuses.