Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has developed a reputation over the years for its work in is retail stores, especially in its tech support staff. And that reputation has held up and actually is showing to be a major factor in customer satisfaction and loyalty, according to a survey of Apple customers by NDP Group.
According to the survey, 60 percent of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) customers stated they were more likely to return to an Apple Store (more specifically, the “Genius Bar”) after a positive tech service experience. Nearly one-third of those surveyed said they had a more positive perception of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as a company after they had an encounter with tech service. And 40 percent of those surveyed noted they had an experience with the “Genius Bar” inside an Apple Store – and 90 percent of those people said they were extremely or very satisfied with the experience. And comparing Apple users who used general tech support and those who used the Genius Bar, more peole stated they received free service from the latter (88 percent) than from the former (78 percent), and the group conducting the survey noted a “major” correlation between the satisfaction of the service received with the free-ness.
In other words, part of the great benefit of an Apple Store for customers is the Genius Bar. That would seem to be noteworthy in the current climate around Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), as reports are swirling around that morale is down among Apple Store workers and there have been budget cuts announced at the retailers, leading to some asking the question whether the Apple Store concept is being compromised for the sake of profits by CEO Tim Cook.
If things are all about profits at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) now, it could very well mean that the “Genius Bar” may find itself having fewer geniuses on staff, as tech support people are not salespeople, and reportedly sales associates are having their hours measured by how many devices and accessories they sell during a shift. Whether this survey just happens to come out as Apple makes changes to its store staffing to try to save jobs or whether it is purely coincidental is not clear. But it’s possible that the survey may show that going after profits may cost customer service, and thus customer loyalty – and would that then send customers to other companies?