"Author interview: 'Punching In' at the Apple Store"

26 Nov 2007 - 3:49am
6 years ago
1 reply
805 reads
Kontra
2007

For those of you interested in the design of user experience and
customer-facing employee training at Apple Stores, I just published a
lengthy interview with Alex Frankel, the author of the just-released
"Punching In: The Unauthorized Adventures of a Front-Line Employee."

Kontra: I noticed that you underlined the "permission" aspect of
engaging the customer into revealing their intent, as the salespeople
used the "Would it be alright if I ask you…" phrase quite a bit. Was
that specifically taught during training?

Frankel: Yes, the notion of asking customers for their permission to
ask them more questions is a critical part of the Apple Store employee
approach and taught throughout Apple Store training...

http://counternotions.com/2007/11/26/punching-in-interview

An earlier article:

Apple Store strategy: "Position, permission, probe"
http://counternotions.com/2007/10/21/apple-store-strategy

had covered Apple's strategic approach to retail-experience design.

--
Kontra
http://counternotions.com

Comments

26 Nov 2007 - 10:36am
Eric Scheid
2006

On 26/11/07 7:49 PM, "Kontra" <counternotions at gmail.com> wrote:

> Kontra: I noticed that you underlined the "permission" aspect of
> engaging the customer into revealing their intent, as the salespeople
> used the "Would it be alright if I ask youŠ" phrase quite a bit. Was
> that specifically taught during training?
>
> Frankel: Yes, the notion of asking customers for their permission to
> ask them more questions is a critical part of the Apple Store employee
> approach and taught throughout Apple Store training...

UCD people shouldn't get too excited though .. this is a variation of the
old school asking "yes" questions sales closing technique -- he who asks the
questions retains control of the dialog, and there is power in getting a
customer to practice saying "yes" (and imagining owning the thing)..

customer: can I get free delivery?

sales fool: we can do free delivery
customer: hmm.. ok. I have another question/objection/etc...

sales dude: would you like free delivery?
customer: uh .. yes, of course.

customer: I was hoping to find X under $100?

sales fool: we can discount X to $100.
customer: hmm.. ok. I have another question/objection/etc...

sales dude: would you like X discounted to $100?
customer: uh .. yes, of course.

After a series of "yes" responses not only is the customer thinking "yes,
yes, yes!", but they have also painted themselves into a corner. Kinda hard
to answer "no" to "and will that be cash or credit sir?" after committing to
free delivery, a discount, a choice of colour, this option, that option,
etc.

e.

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