The Apple Store is the most profitable retailer in America, generating an average of $5,600 per square foot and attracting more than 20,000 visitors a week.
- Stop selling stuff. When Steve Jobs first started the Apple Store he did not ask the question, “How will we grow our market share from 5 to 10 percent?” Instead he asked, “How do we enrich people’s lives?” Think about your vision.
- Enrich lives. The vision behind the Apple Store is “enrich lives,” the first two words on a wallet-sized credo card employees are encouraged to carry. When you enrich lives magical things start to happen. Enriching lives led Apple to build play areas where kids could see, touch and play on computers. Enriching lives led to the creation of a “Genius Bar” where trained experts are focused on “rebuilding relationships” as much as fixing problems.
- Hire for smiles. The soul of the Apple Store is in its people. They are hired, trained, motivated and taught to create magical and memorable moments for their customers. The Apple Store values a magnetic personality more than the technical proficiency. The Apple Store cares less about what you know, it cares about how much you love people.
- Celebrate diversity. Mohawks, tattoos, piercings are all acceptable among Apple Store employees. Apple hires people who reflect the diversity of their customers. They are more interested in how passionate you are, your hairstyle doesn’t matter. It is very common to find former teachers, engineers, and artists at an Apple Store. Apple doesn’t look for someone who fits a mold.
- Unleash inner genius. They teach their customers something they never knew they could do before, and they’ll reward the Apple store with their loyalty. For example, the Apple Store offers a unique program to help people understand and enjoy their computers: One to One. The $99 one-year membership program is available with the purchase of a Mac. The One to One program was created to help build customers for life. It was designed in such a way that the more you understand a product, the more you enjoy it, and the more you will build a long-term relationship with the company. Instructors are trained to provide guidance and instruction, but also to inspire customers.
- Empower employees. Even if an employee spends a long time with just one customer the company does not take it in a negative way. Cause according to them if a customer had a great experience, that’s all that matters to them. Apple has a non-commissioned sales floor for a reason—employees are not pressured to “make a sale.” Instead they are empowered to do what they believe is the right thing to do.
- Sell the benefit. Apple Store specialists are taught to sell the benefit behind products and to customize those benefits for the customer. They allow their customer to use their various products which makes them experience their technology even before owning any of their products. They simply show us how to improve our lives.
- Follow the steps of service. The Apple Store teaches its employees to follow five steps in each and every interaction. These are called the Apple five steps of service. They are outlined by the acronym A-P-P-L-E. They are: Approach with a customized, warm greeting. Probe politely to understand the customer’s needs. Present a solution the customer can take home today. Listen for and address unresolved questions. End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return.
- Create sensory experiences. The brain loves multi-sensory experiences and Apple has captured this element. People enjoy seeing, touching and playing with products. When you walk into an Apple Store on opening and you’ll see all the notebook computer screens perfectly positioned slightly beyond 90-degree angles. The position of the computer lets you see the screen but forces you to touch the computer in order to adjust it. Every device in the store is connected to the Internet. You can spend as much time you want playing with the products—nobody will kick you out. The sense of touch helps create an emotional connection with a product.
- Appeal to the buying brain. Clutter forces the brain to consume energy. Create uncluttered environments instead. The Apple Store is spacious, clean, well-lit, and uncluttered. Cables are hidden from view and no posters on placed on the iconic glass entrances. Computer screens are cleaned constantly. Keep the environment clean, open, and uncluttered.