When Apple launches a new product, people would gladly wait in line for a chance to be one of the first consumers to get the new gadget, even if it means sleeping in front of the store.
In 2014, SIMOnlyContracts.co.uk, a smartphone comparison website in the United Kingdom, conducted a survey of 2,500 iPhone users where 78 percent of the participants expressed they “couldn’t imagine having a different type of phone now.” The remaining 52 percent said they were “really impressed” with the recent iPhone.
While many ridiculed iPhone lovers with the ‘blind following’ label, along with the products’ elegant designs and even classier marketing strategies, Apple also raised the bar when it comes to customer management.
Here are some customer management strategies small and medium business owners can learn from the ‘big’ Apple. Take a bite and learn which life bites can help you grow your business in Singapore.
Build a convenient and efficient channel to produce the best customer experience.
A store’s atmosphere is the first thing the customer experiences and connects with your product or service. The environment where you sell and operate tells a lot about your brand even without words.
Take Apple for instance. They could have saved money by choosing big tech stores to sell their products, but they took the harder and more expensive path by coming up with their own chain of retail stores that have the same kind of atmosphere around the world.
In Singapore, Knightsbridge Mall on Orchard Store is rumored to be the location of the upcoming Apple Store, the brand’s flagship store. Having their own retails stores enables the brand to create the same high level of customer experience and employee knowledge in each and every location. This also ensures that all customers around the world get the same bite of Apple which leaves them wanting more.
Key takeaway: When opening a branch in Singapore, ensure that the new location and its staff employ the same kind of customer management strategies that the main branch has.
Don’t pressure customers into buying stuff.
Customers hate being pressured into buying something at a store. They hate it even more when employees give them ‘the look’ when they venture into a store just to window shop. The average customer will simply walk past the store to avoid the unnecessary and potentially stressful situation.
In the book The Apple Experience by Carmine Gallo, the author explains that one of the brand’s success lies in a simple store rule: Apple employees do not ‘sell’. They educate.
Try it, walk into one of their retails stores and you’ll notice that you can spend as much time as you want to ‘hang out’ and play with the products. You might have to give way to other customers who want to try the new iPhone on display, but the staff will never give you ‘the look’. Instead, they will answer all your questions about Apple products but unlike in other stores, they will never persuade you to buy.
Key takeaway: When setting up a business in Singapore, ensure that the customers have an enjoyable visit in your stores, even if they’re just looking around. Instead of persuading customers to buy, make them want to have your product or service through a good customer service experience.
Chase customer relationships, not just sales.
Customer management should be at the heart of any business and this doesn’t stop when the customer walks out your door. Managing customers starts the moment your target customers hear your brand or see your logo. The effect has to be instant and long-lasting.
Taking Apple again as an example, the name and logo’s effect on people is instant, extensive and enduring. The brand was successful into turning a gadget into a lifestyle that many people want to be part of. And where can they get a taste of the lifestyle? At Apple’s specialized retail stores when the experiences turn them from target customers to loyal followers.
Key takeaway: Look at customer management as a long-term business goal. In order to build a successful brand following in Singapore, don’t just go for sales. Instead, strive to build long-lasting relationships with your customers.
Which leads us to the last tip: Establish brand loyalty.
Apple has one of the most hardcore fans in the world. People would wait in line whenever the brand releases a new product in their chain of retail stores.
Every brand has its own set of critics, but Apple has set the bar high that customers even document how they ‘unbox’ their newly purchased Apple products. Even the packaging contributes to the customer management excellence the brand is known for.
Key takeaway: Customers who document their own brand experience are your best ambassadors and they contribute to the unique content on social media that become your best advertisements. When setting up a business in Singapore, keep customer management strategies clear and consistent.
Ready to launch in Singapore and mimic Apple’s customer management tactics? Get in touch with us today and let us help you set up your business in Singapore.