In 2005, I purchased a Dell laptop. A few years later, the screen stopped working. As it was still under warranty, after spending several hours with Dell support, they arranged for me to send it back and get the screen replaced. Not an easy process, but it was free.
Several years ago, my children each bought an Apple MacBook. When they had a problem, they went on-line, made an appointment at the Apple Store, took it in, and the problem was fixed.
Two years ago, my wife, Candace, bought an iMac. She’s never had a problem, although whenever there’s something she doesn’t understand, she calls Apple, and they happily walk her through the solution.
Over the last six months, my Dell laptop’s screen slowly started dying, and recently, it just stopped working. I first went to Dell’s website for specific help with my screen’s problem, but to no avail. I called Dell for help, and because my laptop was out of warranty, the only way anyone would help me solve the problem is if I paid $59 for the conversation. I don’t mind paying $59 if the problem is fixable, but I don’t want to pay $59 and then be told there’s nothing Dell can do. I tried to extend my warranty, and they wouldn’t allow that.
I spent several hours (I’m ashamed to say) trying to get someone to tell me if my laptop’s screen is fixable, and I’m also sorry to say, I could barely understand what anyone at Dell was saying because of their heavy accents and poor English. End of story: I’m buying an Apple.
Apple’s a Destination
My sister’s 17-year-old son, Shai, recently visited us from Israel. Shai wanted to spend one whole day in Manhattan visiting every Apple store in the city. My children are already saving for their new Apple MacBooks. And Candace, who is still thrilled with her iMac, and loves her iPod and iPad, can’t wait for Verizon to release the new iPhone. Every time we’re around an Apple store, according to my family and friends, we “have to” go in.
In every touch point with Dell, they’ve offered resistance and, essentially, said, “No.” Advertising is a monologue, customer service is a dialogue.
In every touch point with Apple, including their employees, customers, and fans, they’ve created a framework of fun, ease, confidence, and an attitude of “yes.”
Getting your story to “yes,” from “no,” goes beyond public relations. It’s about following your heart and changing the world. Is your focus on just selling services and products, or do you stand for something? Tell us, get us to follow in your parade. Inspire us to say “yes.”
Recently, Derek Halpern of DIYThemes (the folks who created the Thesis (affiliate link) WordPress theme), wrote a piece about Brita’s great customer service. Brita made sure their story said “yes,” and Derek in turn passed on the good word.
Is Your Story Telling a Yes or No?
What story is your brand or service telling? Ask yourself, ask your people, ask your customers:
- When we tell our story, to our core, are we saying “yes,” or “no?”
- Does our story make people feel better or worse?
- Is our story positive or negative?
- When other people tell our story, are they fans, critics or skeptics?
- Does everyone within our Communications Community,™ including our vendors, employees, community, competitors, customers, government, and leadership, all tell the same story?
- What can we do, at any touch point level, to change our story from “no” to “yes,” and keep it there?
Dell made it impossible for me to either fix my old laptop, or consider staying with them to buy a new one. Dell said “no.” Apple, on the other hand, keeps saying “yes,” and I, too, am becoming a fan. Now I just have to decide whether to buy a MacBook or a new MacBook Air. I would love your thoughts.
So, what is your story? Yes or no?
photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography