I'm not one of those, and never will be, who say that customer service "is the new marketing." There's more to marketing, of course, than customer service. And, after all, if no one knows your name, customer service doesn't mean a thing.
That said, I went to the Apple store at 6:20 this morning.
Something had happened to my four-year-old MacBook Pro. I was getting a file with a question mark on it when I tried to re-boot. This, I feared, was the end.
I was doubly afraid because I had opened up my MacBook on my own back in March, when I maxed out the RAM and put in a new, larger solid-state hard drive. For sure, I thought, they'll yell at me.
I was met by a lovely lady as I walked into the store. "We're going to get you in early," she assured me, batting her limpid iEyes at me.
In a moment or two a "genius" took my machine. He plugged in some plugs. I confessed my indiscretions, which he laughed off. He ran some diagnostics. "You have a cable that's gone out," he said. "It's about the easiest thing in the world to fix. It will cost you $17."
"I have Apple Care," I replied. "I shouldn't have to pay."
"It expired, actually, yesterday. But that's ok. It's free."
In about ten minutes he came geniusing back with my Mac. All spruced up and ready to go.
I really don't know how Apple does it. They pay these people like shit. But somehow they are attentive, intelligent and eager.
What's more, when I said to him I use my MacBook solely for email, Word and web-browsing, he told me there was no need to upgrade to the new retina display machines. That is, he didn't even try to sell me.
There was more good attitude in the Apple Store than you'd find in a dozen Williamsburgs.
Again, I don't know how they do it.