Don't you just love Apple stores. As you walk past you see all these exciting pieces of electronic equipment and the place is staffed by such happy, helpful people. There's an immediate reaction: "I like the look of this place and I've just got to go in." Now that's pretty good as far as it goes.
But what if you've got a small problem - like your IPhone's playing up? Just supposing you're close to an Apple store when this happens. You walk in and its one of those times when there's a lot more staff than customers. Staff are standing around chatting to each other but a receptionist quickly comes to attend to you. You explain the problem - and suddenly the famed Apple service disappears. "I'm sorry," you are told, "we're too busy to help you with this right now. You have to go on line and make an appointment." You look around. Staff are still chatting to each other - clearly not busy either with technology or customers: "Oh,", you say, "what about someone from over there? Can they have a quick look at it?" "No," comes the reply, "you will have to go on line and make an appointment."
Suddenly having anything other than Apple equipment seems to be a good option!
Now, as you might suspect, this isn't just a hypothetical example. It happened this morning at an Apple store in Sydney.
I can understand making an appointment when a store is packed with customers. I can understand that whatever is wrong with the phone might require a technician to examine it. I can understand that the problem may take a little time to be fixed and that there might be no phone for a short time.
What I can't understand is why, in a store that is obviously not busy, no-one can even make a brief examination of the phone and perhaps be able to help solve a reception issue. Somewhere in Apple is a manager - perhaps more than one - who is more concerned with process than with customers. And that's PPM - piss poor management.
What do you think?
More about Doug Long at http://www.dglong.com