Apple is the world’s richest and most popular technology company because of the loyalty factor that’s build into the iPhone maker’s DNA. DNA? Apple’s products and customer service help to bake loyalty into the customer relationship. Let’s compare that with what happens when loyalty is lost.
My Computer Is A Mac
What caught my eye is the news that David Gewirtz, a long time Microsoft and Windows apologist, a tech-savvy and world renowned self promoter who seldom hesitates to bash all things Apple, uses a Mac as his desktop machine.
Whoa! Is this some kind of link-bait joke? Or, have we begun the earth’s geomagnetic reversal process already? I didn’t see that on Faux News. What’s next? Paul Thurrott uses an iPhone? Is Rob Enderle singing the iPad praises? Did Bizzaro World replace the technology industry?
No, Gewirtz has seen the light. Or, parts of the light. He says 2014 is the year Microsoft lost his loyalty. That should tell us what’s to come. Mobile device users seem to have loyalty to only one brand.
And that’s what Gewirtz uses as his go-to machine. A maxed-out iMac.
Though Gewirtz is self described as “not much of an Apple fan” and prefers Android to iOS, his wife uses a Mac mini, his Skype studio uses a Mac mini, his backup server is an aging iMac, and his desktop is a fully tricked out iMac.
That should tell us something when a noted technologist feels that Microsoft has lost his loyalty. Why?
I have to tell you that part of what soured me on Microsoft is its completely inconsistent level of customer service.
Gewirtz described the nightmare of service issues simply to upgrade his Windows PCs, and topped it off with a well-timed diss of Office 365’s dreadful service.
Hello? Genius Bar?
Therein lies a distinct differentiation between Apple and Microsoft and the rest of the PC, smartphone, and tablet technology industry. All of those who compete against Apple, and Apple itself, have products that may come with hardware and software issues, but only Apple has nearly 450 retail stores where customers can go to for friendly, face-to-face service.
In the past 10 years, with experience on almost everything Apple sells, I’ve needed to use a Genius Bar three times. Once for a hardware issue, once for a persistent software issue (both of which did not cost me anything), and once to replace a product that had died.
Face-to-face contact breeds loyalty, but it’s only a part of the mix. Products that work, that are not so complex that only geeks need apply, are a big factor. Android smartphones and tablets have two kinds of customers– the throwaway customer who uses the device more like a feature phone, and the decidedly geeky user who loves to tinker. Apple’s usual customer falls in between the two.
Apple courts loyalty. But Apple can afford to court loyalty because it owns the lion’s share of the industry’s profits (PCs, smartphones, tablets, retail stores, app stores). Ipso facto, loyalty breeds profitability.