Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A nice experience at the Apple store

I picked up a Macbook Pro for my Dad tonight at the Apple Store. On the way to my car, I'm carrying his old PC and the box with the Macbook Pro. It's about 9PM and the store was pretty much closing. I see one of the employees from the store in the parking lot. He was on his cellphone and headed to wherever he was going after work. I recognized this guy from the store and it seemed he recognized me. As we passed each other, we gave each other the standard guy nod.

And for a moment, it seemed that we would be but ships passing in the night. (I've always wanted to say that! Something tells me I just wasted it on a story like this that really didn't call for it.)

But then, a second after we passed each other, I hear "congratulations". I said "thanks" and that was it.

What a great little branding lesson. I doubt this is in any customer service manual for Apple employees. Maybe it is. But this guy was off the clock. Nothing was stopping him from continuing his cellphone conversation and heading home. Nobody was watching his performance. He was a free man. But he felt compelled to congratulate me for switching from a PC to Mac.

He believes in the product he sells. He stands by the brand. He welcomes customers into the family. It was a really nice warm touching little moment.

My friend Jeremy Epstein would consider this a case of
Never Stop Marketing. I wouldn't call it that because I'm not a marketing consultant and I don't need to call it anything. But I agree with Jeremy. This guy truly represented the Apple brand in a place and time when he didn't have to. And because it was optional, it meant that much more to me.

OK, I'm being a bit too maudlin. I'm not about to show up at the Apple store with flowers and a box of chocolates. But I am impressed that Apple has employees like that who go out of their way because they just feel it.

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