I had my first experience with Apple back in January. I bought an iPod and generally had a great experience in their store at the Jordan Creek Mall in Des Moines. The employees were friendly, empathetic and attentive. The iPod exceeded my expectations in almost every respect. I’m beginning to get it. For years I’ve put off even looking at a Mac because the "whole world" uses Windows. After my wife’s recent forced "upgrade" to Vista and all the software headaches that went along with it – I’m starting not to care.
When Apple opened their retail stores, the predictions of a quick demise were numerous. Gateway couldn’t do it. Dell wouldn’t even try it. What made Apple think they could pull it off? It turns out that the naysayers have, thus far, been wrong. Sales are up 34 percent from a year ago.
Apple has always had its rabid fan-base. But how to turn complacent Windows lemmings into customers?
The New York Times recently published an article by Randall Stross, in which he cites one of the keys to Apple’s retail success:
The stores were born fully formed and have not required any fundamental
changes. The best innovation was present on Day One: the “Genius Bar,”
with a staff of diagnostic wizards whose expertise is available in
one-on-one consultations — free. Pure genius. More than half of the
retail store’s staff is assigned to post-sales service.
A quality product, fair price, convenient location, and exceptional service. By putting the Apple products and experience in a place where the Windows-users of the world can drop in and touch, feel, play, talk, experience and get service from a live human being – they have put themselves in the best position to convert consumers to a Mac.