That's the way to do it.
With "Bendgate" and a faulty software update, Apple certainly endured a couple of difficult days this week. But you can't ignore the speed and efficiency with which it responded to these unexpected challenges. It was the right thing to do.
The speed of its response sets the company apart from competitors. You see, within around 48-hours the Tim Cook company had acted and responded to the problems.
I think it is telling that some Apple competitors moved so fast to publish ads that mocked Apple's problems. In being so cheap they exposed their own moral weakness -- have they never had a problem?
These cheap shots shows discerning customers what they can expect when using competing products. That's something that shows when you try to contact customer support -- where Apple is number one.
Apple responded to the challenge, not the mirth.
Not only has it figured out that just nine units out of the ten million iPhone 6 devices sold worldwide across in recent suffer from what has become "Bendgate", but it has invited media into its device testing labs to see just how much testing it does to its products before general release.
Apple has also issued instructions to help those who have been negatively impacted by the buggy iOS 8.0.1 update (which it withdrew inside of two hours); and has already introduced iOS 8.0.2, which doesn’t share the same problems of the earlier release.
That's an intelligent response.
Consumers aren't stupid.
We all know problems happen. We all know things sometimes go wrong -- it happens in every walk of life. We also know that the test for anyone who faces an unexpected problem is how they react to that problem. Do they…
- Ignore it?
- Deny it?
- Panic about it?
- Moan about it?
- Deal with it?
Apple responded quickly, calmly and effectively to handle the problems as they were identified. While its responses won't attract as much attention as its stumbles (such is the nature of modern media), Apple's customers won't be surprised. They know Apple usually tries to help them. They learn this at Apple Support.
Doing the right thing
That's why Apple is such a powerful brand in consumer electronics. It is not because it never makes mistakes, but because when it does it has the chutzpah to make things right.
And that's what customer loyalty is built on.
I find it interesting that YouTube clips from individuals showing a bent iPhone became such a big deal. I think the story first emerged from around here. This raises even more interesting questions:
- Who told the journalist/editor about the claims?
- Who was that source also working for?
- What verification took place?
I can't imagine the journalist spends huge quantities of time looking at individual-submitted clips on YouTube in the hope of finding a story, so it would be enlightening to know who tipped them off.
Given Apple's claim that "Bendgate" is just a one in a million problem, the company could even turn this adversity into a sales pitch, simply by offering a full refund, replacement device and $1,000 gift card to anyone lucky enough to pick up one of those rare "bendy" iPhones.
This has been a fascinating chapter that underlines just how well Tim Cook's Apple deals with adversity.
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