Monday morning 11am. I walk into a NE Ohio Apple store and the place is rocking. Apple's so called "geniuses" are helping grandma organize her photos while the grandkids quickly master the iPad--assorted iProducts are flying off the shelves.
My needs are more mundane. Having bought my new iPhone 4 just over a week ago I have already succeeded in destroying it. Well it wasn't me exactly but the new lie-flat bed on Continental flight 98 from Hong Kong to Newark last Thursday.
So what happened? Well, I was testing the functionality of the new bed during the 14 hour flights when somehow my iPhone slipped out of my pocket and became lodged in the complicated mechanism that powers this airborne deckchair. At least I think that's what happened. A few hours after reclining I returned to upright mode only to be greeted by a nasty crunching sound. I suspected the worst but needed the assistance of a thin-limbed stewardess to confirm the damage. She delicately extracted the remnants of my phone which now resembled a shattered mirror than a high-tech marvel--it is made of glass--hence my trip to the Apple store.
My Apple genius was a cute brunette although I barely noticed. She empathized with my plight but gently informed me that accidental damage was not covered by the warranty. I asked if idiot damage was covered which at least elicited a smile. Still all was not lost. She offered to speak to her boss and presently the manager arrived. After hearing my tale of woe she too empathized and offered a $100 credit on my replacement phone! Maybe it was my sexy English accent or maybe that's just the way Apple does things but I was impressed. I in no way expected (or deserved) any relief for my carelessness but Mr Jobs now has yet another loyal customer and vocal advocate. That's what great service really means, going above and beyond when it is not required. Does your organization do that?