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Who is Apple Awards, what do we do and how can we help you honor and recognize achievement and loyalty to your organization and the people closest to you?

What They Were Really Doing, Part 2

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It's been a month since the boss went away on vacation and i dropped in to see what went on in his absence (see post All in Fun) He's been back for a while now and today he was busy plowing a foot of clean, white snow from the Apple Awards parking lot. Winter cold has descended. But inside the workplace it is warm and busy. One of the warmest commodities is the customer service offered by all working there. Let me give an example.

 

Apple Awards has gone through several transformations to become what it is at present. In a former stage, in a different location and under the business name Precious Moments, it offered services and products to clients which it has phased out and no longer offers or advertises. Long term employee Stacey had helped a particular client with a complicated, recurring order and had gotten to be a valuable resource for the client.

 

What to do when the business decision was made not to solicit time intensive orders of this kind any more? Well, you continue to work with a client who has come to depend on your expertise. Every year since, Stacey has worked to fill this order, not only to supply product, but also conferring with the client and helping to organize the order and making sure it is accurate. I happened on Stacey a few weeks ago as she was wrapping up the order – it was her project and she cheerfully explained why she was doing it. It is just the way Apple Awards treats their customers. And that is one of the reasons it is nice and warm inside Apple Awards, in every way.  

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What They Were Really Doing: Part 1

As promised, here's another peek behind the scenes as to what really happens at Apple Awards when the boss is gone (which, to his relief, is pretty much the same as what happens when he's there.) 

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Several clipboards were up on the order board the day I dropped in.  Stacey, Kate and Bill were all occupied at their stations. I thought Kate's project was interesting and different from the "apple" theme I'd seen so often.  

She had a number of metal plates with scrolled edges lined up on her desk and was watching another one go through the laser engraver.  The plates were one element of retirement plaques being made for a major organization in the eastern U.S.  Each one was taking about 10 minutes to engrave and she had over 40 of them to do.  That's a lot of minutes.  

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These plaques also had an emblem with a logo, that was to be applied to the circle on the metal plate.  And to finish, the metal plate was to be mounted on a dark walnut wooden base. The many details of this product took a lot of attention and focus (Kate's specialties).

All the information about this plaque, including its custom logo was digitally stored and will be available for future orders as well.  That is one of the conveniences that Apple Awards offers its customers, aiming to please, as usual. 

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What We Know

I'll bet you are wondering where I'm going with this title, eh? (Eh with a question mark is Canadian for "do you agree?") I'm thinking about that elusive commodity called customer service, specifically, good customer service.  It's my experience that, definitions aside, WE KNOW when we've gotten it.  And when we haven't. 

I'm often a little anxious whenever I have an issue with a company and am looking for that "contact us" number or web address.  It becomes apparent so quickly what customer service does or doesn't mean to that company.  I know I'm not alone in this because I'm a dedicated reader of online reviews of products I'm thinking of buying.  Dissatisfied people have a voice these days and a bad review... well, it can be a death sentence or an opportunity for a business.

One of my favorite stories of customer service which is kind of legendary, is from the Nordstrom files, again.  They take seriously their motto about the customer always being right, apparently even when the person wasn't even their customer. A person returned a tire - not an item Nordstrom had ever sold - and was given credit for it. I should add that Nordstrom also has effective fraud control or they would no longer be in business.  

And don't we all have some horror stories of products that were not what we expected or service that wasn't up to par? Stories about being ignored, being harassed or argued with, having to present all kinds of details, fill out multiple forms, make dozens of phone calls, and still not being satisfied?  We know how important we feel to this company, eh?

If you haven't already had the experience of doing business with Apple Awards, now is the time for me to share their philosophy of customer service.  It is included with each shipment and it is their invitation for you, the customer, to dialogue with them, be heard and taken seriously.

Some Old Fashioned Ideas

Never Go Out Of Date! 

You are the most important person in our business.

You are not dependent on us,

We are dependent on you.

You are not an interruption of our work,

You are the purpose for it. 

You do us a favor when you use us,

We are not doing you a favor by serving you.

You come to us with your needs,

It is our job to fulfill them.

You pay our salaries ... without you we

Would have to close our doors.

You deserve the most courteous

Attention we can give.

Let us take this moment to say,

"Thank you. We appreciate

having you as a friend."

www.appleawards.com

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