Apple's attention to detail is the stuff of legend. The technology itself is designed to be intuitive, with clean lines and a futuristic look. But the corporate obsession with user experience also reveals itself in how Apple packages its products and presents its wares in retail stores. Previously, I've discussed how financial services and other organizations can improve their operations by emulating some of the key characteristics of Apple's customer service and product offering. Now I want to discuss the company's packaging and presentation of its products, and what other businesses can learn from Apple's example.
Gather around the table
Recently, Apple has been locked in a legal battle with Samsung regarding patent infringement on some of its iPad and iPhone design features. I bring this up not to discuss the dispute, but to draw attention to the ceaseless desire to do better that pervades Apple's corporate culture. During trial testimony, Apple designer Christopher Stringer explained the team process of designing products. It includes frequent meetings, a kitchen table and close collaboration and feedback on everyone's ideas.
"We're a pretty maniacal group of people," Stringer reportedly testified. "We are always doubting. We are always questioning," he later said.
In typical Apple fashion, there is a constant push to do better, to continue striving for improvement even after a product has been approved. It's this spirit that has spurred the release of several updated iPhone models that continue to add value for their users. You may wonder what consumer technology has to do with customer relationship management. It's the attitude that everything, even the way a phone is packaged and sold in an Apple retail store, contributes to the overall client experience. How does your business present its products and services? Do you go the extra mile to hand-deliver a new client contract, making sure that all i's are dotted and t's crossed? Have you created an easy-to-navigate menu of your company's offerings to make the browsing process more simple for prospects? Making small changes to your processes could have a huge impact on your clients' satisfaction and their sense of being valued.
Encourage employees in every position to strive for innovation. Reward them when they devise new ways of performing daily tasks more efficiently and effectively. Direct them to constantly question whether what they are doing is in the best interests of your client base. Reward those who go the extra mile and set expectations that all members of your team should never rest or be satisfied with the status quo.