By Shreyas Hebbare
One fine day you wake up, go to your desk and turn on your laptop. It would be your worst nightmare if it doesn't power up. You tilt it, you pray, you press random keys but it doesn't budge. What if your phone stops working? We can't imagine how these gadgets have become an extended part of our body. Today, I went through the same nightmare and believe me, it was a one of a kind experience I had.
Today morning my 13" MacBook Pro with Retina Display just wouldn't turn on. It could be a power failure, a battery mess up or a hard disk corruption or some rodent might've eaten up the chips. Who knows! Well, its rare that an Apple computer would behave such erratically, which made me very nervous and turned my feet cold. I quickly went through the internet to find solutions through my iPad but nothing seemed to work, which made me even more nervous and agitated. So I thought the only option left is to take it up to the store, or... I could also call up the tech support. There was very little chance that some random support guy over the phone with limited expertise would even understand what I am going through. Nevertheless, I thought of giving it a try. Here is what happens next after I dial Apple Care...
The guy at Apple Care picks up and says “Good morning! This is Apple Care, how are you?”.
I was speechless! Who asks "how are you?"? No stranger greeted me that way! I reciprocated and said that I am doing well. Then I explained the problem with my Mac; he said he shall transfer the call to the Mac support team. I agreed and began thinking: now begins the game of passing the buck and I would be routed through 10 different morons who will never understand my problem. The transfer took less than 3 minutes. Then a lady receives the call and says “Hello Shreyas, how are you? I understand you having issues with your Mac.”
Now I thought to myself I should be dreaming. No one cares if rat pees on my Mac, how come these people are so concerned? Hold on, it doesn't stop there, after I say I am doing fine and explain my problem, she goes on the extent of saying, “I understand how difficult it must be for you to see a blank screen. I am sure your important work must be put on hold for that. I apologise for the same and without wasting much of your time I shall get you through the troubleshooting process”. Its not mainstream to find people who are not reading scripts and manuals on the other end! She even took down my number and said she will call me back in case the call disconnects. And believe it or not, whenever my calls have got disconnected when I used to call airlines or telephone department, they used to be happy, may be even thinking, “Cheers! Thank god I lost that guy and his buggy problem." This was absolutely not the case this time.
Well, then the lady asked me a to perform a series of checks and I followed them religiously. She asked me to press certain keys in a particular sequence, essentially to reboot the power chips and refresh the RAM before rebooting. She asked me to wait for few moments till I'd hear 3 beeps. Then my Mac goes, Beep.... Beep.... Beep! Hurray my Mac turns on! The Apple logo glows as bright as it would and my login screen appears! I couldn't be more happy and said thank you many times to the support team. She was so glad and happy too, and explained that this was a rare problem that happens due to accumulation of static charge on the aluminium casing. If it happened again, I'd just have to follow the procedure again which she emailed to me right away. Thank you, I said again, and gladly ended the call and began typing this.
Where would you find such a diligent support team who empathise with you and don't talk crap? No where on the planet will you find such an amazing customer service post sales. I remember my friend banging his head over a Nexus device and running around store to store for getting his device powered up due to an OS bug. I'm sure if it were with my iPhone, I could have sorted it out in a few minutes by giving a call to Apple's outstanding team.
So, there is an important lesson to learn for start ups and even giant corporations: Always put customer satisfaction first, never ignore their problems. Empathise and offer the right support. You may not fix the product, but you will surely earn a loyalist.
- Apple Loyalist and Technology enthusiast.
Signing off, Shreyas.