I do not need to look one blogpost further for my favorite post of the day! This Jobs book is absorbing, informative, thought provoking and easily one of the best reads around. I wondered if you would like him but knew that you would admire and respect him as one of the brilliant creators and innovators of our time.
How Is Your Customer Experience? Lessons From Steve Jobs
When it comes to service quality, I get a little bit goofy. And for the last couple of weeks, I’ve gotten some new insight.
I’ve been reading Walter Isaacson’s authorized biography of Steve Jobs – a book I highly recommend to any real estate professional.
As many of you know, I am a huge fan of Apple products. I have an iMac, a MacBook Air, an iPhone and iPad. While I’ve lost an iPhone or two, I’ve never had a Mac product poop out on me, except for once – a MacBook Air. And the kids at the Apple store acted really embarrassed and apologetic, replacing it on the spot.
Basically, I have had an amazing customer experience since I switched form PCs to Mac, both with their products and the company that makes them.
And as I read Isaacson’s book, I’m starting to understand how Jobs maniacal focus on the customer experience helped turn Apple into such a success story. From the beginnings of the design process until the purchase points where consumers have the products in their hands, his focus was on that experience.
As a boss, Jobs was certainly a royal pain, micromanaging all of his employees. From the engineers who came up with new product ideas and designed them, the software developers who created the magic that made them function, to the marketing and advertising people, to the architects and construction workers at the various Apple Stores, Jobs was there looking over their shoulders. He was often prickly and even extraordinarily nasty, with no people skills to speak of. Still, he had his own focus - and that of everyone who worked for him - on that customer experience.
When people picked up that computer, iPod or iPhone, what would it be like for them? Would they find the product difficult or clunky? Or would the ease of operation make them smile? These were the questions he and his employees constantly asked.
When customers went shopping for a computer, would they walk into a big box store where the employees were clueless about Apple products, or for that matter anything else the store sold? Or would they experience one of his own Apple Stores where his machines were artfully displayed and where the Genius staff actually knew and loved he entire line? Was it that important for the sales staff to demonstrate what was so special about each product?
And this got me to thinking about my own clients’ customer experience. From the point where buyers meet me at an Open House, trip over my blog, send a first email, what’s it like for them? Are they comfortable in my car? Do the homes I show them match their criteria? Are they comfortable with the lenders and home inspectors in my list? Do they feel taken care of during the negotiations and the road to settlement? How about after they own the place? Do they feel like they can still call me for advice and solutions to problems that might come up?
Or what about sellers at that first listing presentation? How clear is my market analysis? When I leave are they understand what I’ll do to market their home and how I may be different than the other agents they’ll interview? As we wait for the offer to come in, will they be happy with my work? Will they feel like I’m their advocate during the contract negotiations and settlement?
My guess is that we could all read this biography and appreciate Steve Jobs strengths and weaknesses, and how he made it all work for him. And we might even learn a lot more about how we can make our own knowledge and experience work to create a great experience for our clients.