Learn more about how Apple have responded to their Customer Relationship Management needs in order to provide better customer services and manage data collection.
Our hope is that this case study will inspire you and show how your business could benefit from CRM.
Apple is one of the most well-known retailers of innovative technology, from personal computers to handheld devices such as tablets and mobiles. It is the third largest maker of PCs in the US, and since 2001 has had a much higher focus upon retail and customers than its competitors.
The customer relationship is now an essential part of Apple's growth strategy, and is almost as much of a brand feature as the iPad or iPhone.
Apple's CRM Needs
The company has been using CRM in its customer service departments for nearly a decade, and this has ranged from sending a series of emails to customers who've used their in-store services, to focus upon assessing the feelings of the customers when they are talking to Apple staff. Within their retail departments, Apple will generally focus upon ensuring that customers have an experience, rather than simply make a purchase.
The purpose of using CRM in their retail base is to encourage a long-term relationship between Apple and its clients. Part of retaining that relationship involves enhancing the customer experience so that it is a unique memory of buying a phone. Rather than concentrating upon making customers buy a phone, they instead focus upon teaching customers to love and appreciate the benefits of having an iPhone or iPad. This is a central point of the Apple strategy.
There are several different strands of using CRM within the Apple infrastructure. The primary purpose of CRM is data collection. This occurs whenever a customer makes a purchase, whether it is an iPhone, use of software such as iTunes, or registering their product using their Apple ID. All of this information is used to help define advertising so that it is more directly targeted at potential customers.
However, Apple have not only used CRM for their own purposes, they have also developed a CRM tool for their customers. The tool is entirely cloud-based and means that there is a pyramid effect of businesses benefiting from CRM data collection which Apple can also use.
How Apple Use CRM
By far the most important focus of CRM is improving the customer service experience for new and existing customers. The Apple Genius process is part of the Tech support, which focuses upon allowing customers to meet face-to-face with technicians and discuss problems and solutions in depth.
CRM helps to manage the effect of this face-to-face contact, and also helps to enhance brand awareness when focusing upon CRM-based advertising and targeted emails in the future. By using CRM so extensively in their retail structure, Apple has effectively produced a lifestyle experience rather than simply a purchase.
Apple is a multinational company which has had success in a number of different fields and needs a CRM system which can help them to reach customers on a face-to-face level. Small businesses can also benefit from this type of interpersonal CRM.