Usually it’s some “Big Strategy” that gets customers to talk about how much they like about quality and level of support offered by a tech vendor. That is until the Big Strategy (i.e. that latest Sales Promotion) is over and things are back to service as usual – - which most of the time isn’t so great.
So how is it that one vendor, Apple, wins the category hands down ! One killer word – RESERVE.
That’s right, go to your local Apple store’s web page and you see the Make Reservation section for setting up an appointment at the Apple store. It’s simple – - takes a few seconds to make and appointment – - it always works - – and you feel great when you go to the front of the line in the store to get waited on ahead of all the (less in the know) folks who didn’t reserve a spot.
But without a doubt the absolute killer use for Apple is using this reservation system for phone-in support. That’s right, call the Apple phone support line and unless you are under warranty or have a service contract you are in for a $95 charge. UNLESS you RESERVE a time to visit your local store, where you can get help for - - FREE !
Not really though. Apple is smart enough to know that if you reserve a time to visit store, you’ll probably walk out with something you just absolutely have to have. Not to mention the shock and awe you will feel in response to making an appointment that someone kept and was there to help you ! No wonder Apple’s market share growth is accelerating and their stock has quadrupled in the last 18 months.
So here’s the simple formula you can copy right from Apple:
1. Build the word RESERVE into your web site and put the customer in control of when they can see you or talk with you.
2. Keep the appointment you made for a phone or in-store meeting.
3. Use it as a golden opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell.
4. End the appointment no sooner than when the customers is completely satisfied and is ready to RESERVE again.
Forget about the Big Strategy – - that was a 90′s thing. Just set up a way for customers to make an appointment to see you. You can do it with a new class of software called Appointment CRM. It brings the human touch back to selling.