RealTime IT News

What Apple Does Right

Apple is a fascinating company. Its leader is one of the most beloved CEOs in the world. Its products are widely considered the coolest, hippest, pieces of hardware ever created. It has a policy of secrecy that would make the Central Intelligence Agency jealous. And it has also the highest customer satisfaction rating of any company in the business.

But it doesn't just scrape out victories in customer satisfaction -- it easily bests the competition.

So what is Apple doing right? How is it beating the competition in every known consumer satisfaction survey? Surely, it's not luck. There must be something going on at Apple that makes the company the best, right?

You better believe it.

According to Vocalabs, the company that performed the latest review of customer satisfaction of computer vendors, Apple easily "beat Dell and HP in customer satisfaction with phone-based technical support."

Vocalabs conducted interviews with 1,147 consumers, asking them how satisfied they were with their customer service calls. 58 percent of Apple customers said they were "very satisfied." 46 percent of Dell customers also said they were "very satisfied," while 43 percent of HP customers said the same.

But it gets better. 53 percent of Apple customers said their problem was resolved during the phone call they made to customer service. Meanwhile, 45 percent of Dell customers said their problems were fixed. But just 39 percent of HP customers reported that they had their problems solved by the company's customer service agents.

Worst of all, 33 percent of HP customers said they were dissatisfied with the company's service. Dell and Apple dissatisfaction rates were 33 percent and 18 percent, respectively.

After dealing with all three companies in the past year, this survey doesn't surprise me in the least. Apple has always had better customer service. The company's agents are knowledgeable, they are helpful, and best of all, they're easy to understand.

I've called HP's customer service agents twice over the past year and each time, I had trouble communicating with them. They couldn't quite understand my problem and the issues took quite a while to be resolved. The same can be said for Dell's customer service, but I did find that it was superior to HP's.

I think there's more going on in this survey than meets the eye. Unlike HP, both Apple and Dell charge customers for some or all of their customer service.

Dell customer service is free, but if you want a better alternative with U.S.-based representatives, you'll need to pay. Apple's paid service also provides you with a higher level of service, thanks to U.S.-based agents and knowledgeable staff.

So, perhaps there's more afoot than Apple just being better. Much like its products, Apple's customer service arm is a premium product for a premium price. It's easy to gripe about its cost, but once we use it, we see why it was worth it.

More companies, including HP, can take a page out of Apple's book. It might not provide the cheapest service, but for a relatively affordable premium, it is providing a better service. And that's all we can ask for.