Saturday, Mar 20, 2021, 16:55 Economy

Apple's Secret Support Program: Rewards For Friendly Customers

Anyone who has worked in the customer service industry is familiar with a very certain kind of customer... The type that seems to make it their mission to make an employee's life as hard as possible, whether that takes place in the form of screaming or insults. These customers handle their frustration with the respective product – which sometimes even arises due to a lack of care on the part of the customer, quite poorly and often find themselves taking out their anger on the company's customer service representative. This individual then often waits to see what kind of response their behavior is to be met with, entirely unaware of one thing in particular: Companies often have internal processes which don't reward the loudest and least polite customers, but the easiest.

Rewards For Kind Customers
According to a TikTok made by a former Apple employee, there's a program at Apple for rewarding especially polite customers. Of course, in the case of rude customers, everything possible will still be done to solve their problem. However, especially easy-going customers have a good chance of getting a free repair or service for the same matter. One example would be a free battery swap for a weak battery just recently past warranty. Apple hasn't publicly acknowledged this "surprise and delight" program, however, according to many Apple employees, such a program does exist for exceptionally pleasant customers.

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Unclear Whether Program Has Official Guidelines
Of course, employees aren't permitted to simply toss around free repairs or service simply at will, only a certain amount can be given. The TikTok video attracted hundreds of comments from users who had received free repairs or service from Apple. However, many also commented that there was no such "official" program, rather a rough set of guidelines allowing employees to offer a limited amount of free services.

Program Or Not: Friendliness Wins
It's of no concern to what extent the "rewards program" is regulated by Apple. Employees are rarely the ones to answer for problems with a product, but the ones who most frequently receive the fallout. Taking out one's frustration with a company's product or service on an employee doesn't just show a lack of manners – it won't get you very far. Friendliness is often much more efficient in the long run. It doesn't matter whether Apple has a "nice customer" rewards program, many customer support programs reward friendly behavior and do only the bare minimum for those who display the opposite. People often dehumanize customer service representatives by insulting them, and nobody wants to be insulted.

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