I was in Boston in June of 2012 for the HOW Design Conference. One evening I was walking around looking for things to shoot when I saw this closed Apple Store. It looked different and interesting to me, probably because the lighting was subdued and the glass spiral staircase was illuminated so beautifully. I decided to take a few images but I was getting a lot of reflection shooting thru the glass doors. To partially solve this issue, I pressed my lens right up against the glass which prompted the guard standing outside to walk over and inquire what the hell I was doing. I slowly explained the issue while I took 10 bracketed shots. I’ve found that when dealing with security or the police, it’s a good idea to stall. You might buy enough time to get the shots you want. It worked in this case.
While I buy most of my electronics and computer equipment online, I've learned to appreciate the excellent customer service I've experienced at Apple retail stores. The items I buy there tend to be fairly expensive Apple hardware that I can’t get elsewhere for a significant discount. When I buy, I’ve already done my research. I know exactly what I want. I might have a few technical questions I want answered before I purchase, so going to the Apple store makes sense to me. Apple retail store employees seem to be very well trained. They listen carefully to my questions, restate them to me to confirm they understand what I am asking for, and then usually ask a few good questions themselves, apparently to better understand my needs and enhance their ability provide a comprehensive answer. The first time I encountered this I was stunned and very pleased. I discussed it with my family and friends and frankly I wondered if I had just been fortunate and had met a particularly effective employee. But this was not the case. Every time I visited an Apple store and engaged the sales staff, my initial impression was reinforced. Apple has managed to inculcate a culture of retail excellence. With retailers struggling to survive in highly competitive markets, it makes me wonder why this is so rare. Why do most sales people not know their products? Why to retailers try to push unsuitable products on ill-informed customers, alienating them in the process? Why not provide solutions and earn customer loyalty?
It's sad and reflects poorly on other brick and mortar retailers that I find sales people who are helpful and knowledgeable about their products to be exceptional. I’ve never had an Apple employee try to hard sell me on something I didn't come into the store for, nor have they ever tried to jam an extended warranty down my throat. I have to go to Best Buy for that type of treatment which is one reason I avoid shopping there.
I heard recently that both Best Buy and Fry’s have implemented policies to match internet pricing if the customer provides proof that the item is in stock and if the online vendor is an authorized reseller. Given that both stores seem to sell everything at list price, this is a big change but probably won’t be enough to save them from extinction.
to my personal photography blog. I specialize in making unique and highly detailed photographs. Notice I said making and not taking. Yes I take photos but a lot of time and work is involved in pushing and punishing the pixels in my images to achieve the look I like.
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Can't we all just get along?