I’m dreading writing this newsletter.

Last Monday Apple dropped the ball.

Just to make sure you and I know exactly what I’m referring to, it’s Apple the company – not the fruit, record label or Chis Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow’s daughter.

Last week we hosted a Service Inspiration Day for one of our clients – Vanarama.co.uk. It involved visiting some of the very best customer service organisations in the UK.

To give you a taste it was: an inspirational  morning with the brilliant Jonathan Raggett of Red Carnation Hotels, an afternoon with the extraordinary Boodles and a lunch with Fred Sirieix at Galvin at Windows.

If you don’t know Fred, he’s the very smooth French Maître d’ on Channel 4’s First Dates.

By the end of the day our clients were buzzing!

The final part of the day was a Service Treasure Hunt. One of the questions involved ‘Asking an obvious question’.

Some of the scenarios were brilliant. One group asked a Royal Protection Officer, ‘Where is Buckingham Palace, please?’

He was standing at the gates of Buckingham Palace but answered perfectly with, ‘It’s right here, isn’t it beautiful?’

And then we were told a horror story. And worse than that, it was from Apple.

Now, for me, hearing that Apple dropped the customer service ball is akin to discovering Kylie Minogue is a man!

Here’s what happened…

One team arrived at the Apple Store in Covent Garden and asked the totally obvious question, ‘Excuse me, do you sell iPhones’? The response?

A dismissive, “Yeah, ‘course we do.”


It would have been so easy to say the equally obvious, “Thank you for asking and yes we do. Let me show you the whole range, they’re over here.”

Here’s why our clients were so upset.

It was Apple! Net promoter scores in the high 60’s. Legendary customer service?

And this was the worst bit. One by one other delegates gave their examples of where Apple had recently failed to live up to expectations.

I was shocked.

Could the almighty Apple be about to face a customer service crash?

Remember, you’re only as good as your last customer transaction.

Be Brilliant!



PS If you want a few tips to avoid dropping the ball then take a look at this



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