Archive for February, 2013

Under Promise…

Written by mitch. Posted in Blog, Consumer, General Community, Repair Community

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Every once in a while my MacBook Pro has a bit of a breakdown and demands a little love…

It could be the result of schlepping it back and forth between my home office and the shop every day: stuffing it into my backpack, dragging IMG_0836it out to the car, throwing it (Not literally, of course…) into the trunk, pulling it out of the backpack and then reversing the whole process every night, five or six times a week. Or, it could be the three or four hours a night I’m chained to it – like a Roman Galley Slave – asking far more from it than any notebook computer was ever designed to give…

I don’t know…

All I do know is that whenever that happens, I can always count on the friendly (And, knowledgeable…) folks on the AppleCare telephone hotline as my first line of defense. And, quite frankly, they have never let me down.

In fact, in the two-and-a-half years I’ve had my computer I’ve never had to bring my Mac back (to the Apple store) for anything. This time it was apparent we wouldn’t be able to ‘fix’ the problem remotely. And, while I recognized the need for that next level of help, I wasn’t prepared for what turned out to be an absolutely delightful experience!

Delightful? Really…simivalley_hero

If you’re in a service business and would like to take a Master’s Course in Customer Care, head to your nearest Apple Store! You won’t be disappointed…  In my opinion, there isn’t anything else like it anywhere… The quality of service and level of care are unparalleled!

I don’t know how Apple recruits their employees or how they ultimately became part of the Apple family, but I’m sure glad they’ve figured it out and they’re there. I’m glad they’re there, jealous none of them have considered a career in automotive service and disappointed I haven’t been able to recruit any of them to work for me!

My computer’s hard drive failed, which isn’t something most people would look forward to. It’s annoying, unscheduled, time consuming, inconvenient and generally an ‘out of budget’ expense.

However, having already lost a hard drive once before, I was more than prepared this time. I had a backup. Two of them, in fact: one on site and one off.  I was current with most of my work and had another computer available. More than that, I still had “time and mileage” left on the extended warranty I purchased when I purchased my computer.

Nevertheless, my anxiety level was high. I was still anticipating a problem. Bringing your computer is too much like bringing your car in for service for things to go smoothly! And, yet, there were no problems.

I went online and made an appointment for 3:00 PM that afternoon. It was easy and the appointment was confirmed almost immediately. I got to the store a few minutes early, was greeted at the door and escorted to the Genius Bar at the back of the store. My technician appeared almost instantly and introduced himself. He ran a few tests, explained what he was doing and why he was doing it and then explained my options when “FAILED!” screamed across the screen confirming our worst fears.

I was told the computer needed a hard drive and that I would be able to pick it up mid-afternoon the following day after the repairs were completed and the quality control checks had been run. I received a call three-and-a-half hours later informing me my computer was ready for pick-up!

The technician insisted I boot up the computer while he was there. It looked brand new. The aluminum shell as immaculate, the screen perfectly clean and it behaved flawlessly. I went home, set the backup to restore itself overnight, woke up the next morning and got to work!

Everyone I dealt with, whether over the phone or in person at the store was cordial, competent and appeared genuinely interested in exceeding my expectations.

They did what all great service providers do because they know what all great service providers know.

They know how to successfully manage a client’s expectations by under-promising and over-delivering.

I was prepared to pick up my computer the following afternoon. It was ready a few hours after I dropped it off. I was prepared to pay at least a few dollars for the repair, warranted or not. There was no charge. And, I was prepared to deal with the smudges and the scratches sure to accompany opening the computer up and then putting it back together again. There were no scratches or smudges. The computer was returned cleaner and in better condition than it had been prior to drop it off.

Was I satisfied with the service I received? Oh, yeah!

And, just how likely am I to consider another Mac when this one finally does fail? You tell me…

Tell me how can we bring that kind of an experience home to our clients: how we can incorporate that kind of exceptional service into the daily operations of your shop or mine?

Tell me how anyone can…

Best Foot Forward…

Written by mitch. Posted in Aftermarket, Blog, General Community, Repair Community

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The best way to accomplish anything is to do something!

What that something is or turns out to be isn’t really all that important. It’s more a matter of breaking the Inertia of Rest: more a matter of no longer allowing yourself to remain satisfied doing nothing or worse yet, doing the wrong things.

That’s obviously a lot harder to do than it is to talk about or more people would be accomplishing greater and greater success even as I write this. But, if you look around… even if you look long and hard, I’m afraid that isn’t the case and it’s not what you are likely to find.

What you are likely to find is resolution, fear and despair. Not the kind of resolution that drives you toward success, but the kind that leaves you resolved to an endless stream of tomorrows not much better your todays and nowhere as good as your yesterdays. The fear things will never get better and the despair that flows out of that horrible wasteland of unfulfilled dreams. That’s why the stories of those few courageous individuals willing, perhaps even anxious to swim upstream are so inspiring.

It’s because they are doing or have done that which the majority of our friends and neighbors, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, are terrified to even contemplate: afraid of failing, afraid of looking foolish, afraid because no one has even thought about doing it before – although, someone probably has. Just, afraid…

Steven Pressfield named this evil, the evil that would have you stall, crash and burn before you ever leave the ground, the Resistance. Seth Godin simply refers to it as the Lizard Brain. It is the cold black wall that obscures your vision and blocks your way.old grunge wall

Breaking through it isn’t particularly easy. Neither is climbing over it. Punching through seems equally impossible. Overcoming the Resistance, defeating the Lizard Brain is work: hard work! That’s why Julien Smith and Chris Brogan refer to the hard work of success as the Grind.

But, hard work, difficult work, tedious, uncomfortable and sometimes even unpleasant work is all too often the only way to achieve the goals and objectives you want, need and expect out of life – this life – your life.

I can address these issues because I have more than a little experience when it comes to throwing myself against that cold, black wall: even a little experience breaking through every once in a while.

I wish I could tell you there is a trick or some magic way to eliminate the Resistance or avoid the Lizard Brain, but there isn’t. These are primal defense mechanisms buried deep in the unconscious mind designed to keep us safe despite our best efforts to do otherwise.

There are tools that can and often make the work of success easier to manage, however. But, using those tools skillfully often requires mastery; and, achieving mastery demands dedication, determination and discipline. So, no matter what you try or where you go you’re back to doing the work all over again.

Consequently, the best way to get the work done is to just start doing it! And, yes, it’s just that simple!

The tools, tricks and devices that are out there are just that. Nothing more. Nothing less.

What you really need to power you forward is a Vision for the future: your future. A Vision strong enough to pull you out of the your past, through the present and into that future. What you really need is courage, the courage and confidence to raise your best foot and move it just one step closer to that better future, because the only way to reach your destination… The only way to get to where you need to be, is to go there.