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A few weeks ago, I was on a business trip to Boston. It was one of those trips where I had gotten in the night before, started working the next morning at 7:30am (5:30 Denver time) and finished in time to catch the last flight home that night. Only this time,  I missed the 8pm flight. It had left at 8am.

Yes, I had booked my ticket and hit a.m. instead of p.m. What a knucklehead. Or was I? Perhaps I was meant to wait 5 hours for the next flight…

It was a Thursday night and tons of flights were canceled or delayed due to the severe weather. So, giving in to my mistake, I headed for the concourse brew pub. As luck would have it, I got the last bar stool; the place was packed with weary travelers trying to make the best of a tiring situation.

As I laid my head on the counter and whispered, “IPA”, the guy next to me said, “long day?” “Oy Vey”, I thought, “please don’t talk to me. I have just spent 10 hours intensely listening to people talk…I’m going to cry…” But instead, I looked at him and laughed. “Is it that obvious?” He just smiled. Turned out, he was going to Vegas with the other 5 guys at the bar. His day was just beginning.

“So, what do you do?” he asked. “Market Research” I softly responded, hoping he’d think I had no personality and would leave me alone. “Oh, cool! I looove to hear what people think – I work for Apple!” and at that point, whatever personality I was trying to sit on bubbled up and I said, “Really? I happen to have a not-so-happy feeling about Apple at the moment” and proceeded to pull out my iPad and give him my story.

Long story short, I didn’t like that Apple launched the  iPad 2 right after the holidays, when all one could buy was the iPad1. Why not launch 2 before Christmas, not after. In 2 weeks, my new toy became an old toy. Not a satisfying feeling.

“Not too worry. Here is my card. I’ll be in the office on Monday. Call me and let me see what I can do for you.” Poor guy had no idea who he was sitting next to. The following week, I called and left a message. Within a day, he called me back, chatted about my situation and then sent the following email:

Hey Robin, It’s ___ from Apple Business! Great talking with you today and thank you for following up with me after our impromptu/amazing meeting at the Boston Beerworks in terminal C. After you told me about the way you felt about Apple after our unintentional wrongdoing that impacted you, I felt as if I had no other choice but to win you back as an Apple customer once more. 

 At Apple, the satisfaction of the people that own our technology is by far the most important element of our industry leading customer service model. Being a provider of technology, it is inherent within our business that technology will change quickly and often times right when we don’t want it to. It is not the job of our users keep track of this, because people like yourself have far more important things do. 

The story that you shared with me speaks volumes to the topic above. Again, I would be happy to take back the product that you have, in exchange for the newer model of iPad 2. (Example: 16GB AT&T iPad 1 for a 16GB AT&T iPad 2)That being said these are the things I need from you…

WOW! I was stunned. And delighted. You see, in a nutshell, my job is to get consumers to talk about how they feel about a product or service. Then, the Client that hires me takes what they hear and uses it to deliver a better product or service. That’s’ exactly what this guy did. In a nano-second, he turned me from sour grapes to wine.

And…what are the chances that I was working on a technology company project at the time  and that I had just spent the  week interviewing folks about computers and that I would miss my flight (which I have never done) and that I would end up sitting next to someone having a reverse conversation? Talk about being in flow and meeting people at the right time…

So, dear readers, if you live in New England and have any thoughts about upgrading/changing or exploring new IT solutions for your business, then let me know and I will put you in touch with this young, old soul who exceeded my expectations. Actually, no matter where you live, I am sure he can help. His philosophy can’t be beat:

“My job at Apple focuses around business to business sales. As you know, the team that I belong to is based out of Boston, MA area and we work with people all over New England. One of the best parts of my job is that there is no commission on anything that we do here. Our role in the businesses that we work with is to provide honest, accurate and solid Apple solutions that an existing business can pickup, implement and get working.

 We like to say, “More work. Less labor.” Meaning, more of what your business does best and less of the technology becoming a barrier in what you love to do on a daily basis. Whether you come into store, call on the phone, shoot an email or setup a meeting; our pledge is to gather all of the information that we need to create a unique solution that will fit the NEEDS of your business.

Apple has come a long way over the past 10 years. We have listened to our customers, and if business is what they want, we plan on doing business better than everyone else.”

I’d say he is a very good listener.

How has someone MindFULLY exceeded your expectations? Let us know!

 

 

 

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