Guest Post was written by Sean Mortberg, an aspiring tech writer.
In 2016, Apple stores made nearly $36 million in retail sales, far surpassing its competitors. The surprising reality of this, however, is that Verizon, AT&T, AVB Brandsource, and Best Buy all have far, far more stores than Apple, which only has 270 brick-and-mortar stores in the U.S. Despite boasting thousands of stores to Apple’s meager 270, these retailers cannot keep up with Apple’s booming success.
Apple borrowed some strategies from the Ritz-Carlton’s hospitality playbook. The luxury hotel company, which spawned the colloquialisms ‘puttin’ on the Ritz’ and ‘ritzy,’ inspired the team at Apple to offer world-class customer service to help them come out ahead of the other electronics retailers. They weren’t just inspired by the Ritz-Carlton―they sent their store managers to the Ritz-Carlton’s hospitality training sessions to learn the credo and steps of service to satisfy every customer, even if it costs $2,000 to fix an unpleasant guest experience.
When you walk into an Apple store, you can see the influence. A ‘Genius Bar’ that serves the same purpose as a concierge desk, efficient check-in through iPads that give employees the customer’s name before they walk in, and all the latest apps and products for customers to try while they wait. It’s no wonder why Microsoft and Samsung are beginning to imitate Apple’s strategies.
Apple’s success comes at a time when electronics and appliance stores having been falling in employment, sales, and private establishments for a decade while other retailers are thriving. Circuit City, H.H. Gregg, and Radioshack all suffered for huge customer service and business strategy failings. Customer loyalty is fragile, and most customers won’t stick around for repeated failures. The synthesis of machine efficiency and the human touch keep customers coming back to Apple.
Learn more about Apple’s 5 Diamond treatment with the infographic below, provided by Hospitality Management Degrees.