Those golden words by Steve Jobs sum up the secret of Apple CRM’s unprecedented growth over the years. Apple’s vision was clear from day one – “to make the best products on earth.” They aren’t in the business of making products but creating experiences through their products.
A recent survey by SellCell reveals that brand loyalty for Apple is at a whopping 92%. This means that up to 92% of Apple customers will keep patronizing the company’s products. From the survey, it is evident that Apple’s customer relationship management software is efficient and effective.
How did Apple get here? What’s their secret sauce to retaining their customers? What are they doing differently? Sit tight as we explore the Apple CRM case study.
Thanks to Apple’s CRM strategies, they’ve become the most-loved brand in the world. In this article, we’ll present the tech giant’s top CRM strategies that are instrumental to their phenomenal growth. Without further ado, let’s dive in.
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1976: Apple Computers, inc. is founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Their first product is the Apple I personal computer.
1980: Apple conducts an initial public offering at 4.6million shares at $22 per share.
1983: Apple introduces the Lisa, a new brand of personal computers.
1985: Steve Jobs resigns from Apple.
1996: Apple buys Job’s company, NEXT software.
2000: Steve Jobs becomes permanent CEO
2001: Apple launches iTunes and iPod. Followed by iPhone (2007), MacBook (2008), and iCloud (2011).
2011: Jobs resigns as CEO, Tim Cook takes his place.
2016: The European Union rules that Apple must pay Ireland $14.5 billion in taxes back.
2018: Apple becomes the first American public company to surpass $1 trillion in value.
2020: Apple hits $2 trillion
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1. Apple Customer-Centric Store Outlets
For Apple, everything is about delighting the customers. The extraordinary concept of their stores is the most precise expression of their passion for customers. This has morphed their stores into a place of connection and bonding with other Apple lovers.
Apple stores follow a rather unusual way of selling tech products. Instead of displaying the products with price tags, the devices are powered on for customers to enjoy. Not only that but they’re also filled with fun applications and games for users to play around with.
Tech-savvy employees are there to help customers with tech challenges. Also, when users get the products, they have dedicated staff that exposes them to the product’s main features. All these contribute towards strengthening Apple’s customer relationship management.
Apple’s customer service process is another major determinant of its stores’ success. They developed an acronym for their customer service that spells A-P-P-L-E.
A- Approach customers with a personalized, warm smile.
P- Probe politely to understand what the customer needs.
P- Present a solution that can take home today.
L- Listen for and resolve any issues or concerns.
E- End with a fond farewell and invitation to return.
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2. Understand Customer Needs
There are (3) three guiding principles of Apple’s marketing and branding, which are:
1. Empathy — We will truly understand their [customer] needs better than any other company.
2. Focus — To do an excellent job of what we decide to do, we must eliminate all of the unimportant opportunities.
3. Impute — People DO judge a book by its cover. We may have the best product, the highest quality, the most helpful software, etc.; if we haphazardly present them, they will be perceived as slipshod; if we present them in a creative, professional manner, we will attribute the desired qualities.
Apple’s understanding of its customers base is unparalleled. Many other companies try to replicate Apple’s success in CRM but don’t get as many results. The tech giant walks the talk, and their outcome is a testament to their endurance.
Whenever they launch a new device or technology, you’ll see lots of people queening both online and offline to buy. Because the technology resonates with their needs, it’s like it was handmade for their particular needs.
They ensure that they wow their customers from every angle. Apple CRM focuses entirely on the customers and nothing else. In 2020, they spent a record of $18.5 billion on research and development – which aims at anticipating and understanding customer needs.
3. Apple ID
Apple’s CRM strategy revolves around its Apple ID. When you buy a new iPhone, you’ll be prompted to create an Apple ID which gives you a unique identity for accessing your device. You can use the ID on other Apple devices and platforms without having to make another one.
Now here’s where it gets interesting. The tech giant uses your ID to record your sale, recommend other products to you. They’ll also suggest handpicked TV shows, music, content and games that align with your personal information. This further delights the user and make them enjoy the product.
With an Apple ID, users can find their devices, personal items, friends and families, Mac, Airpods and Apple watch on iCloud. It gives users the ability to search and recover their stolen items quickly. At the end of the day, Apple customers feel safe knowing that the brand is always there to help.
4. Irresistible branding that works
Apple’s iconic branding strategy is focused on emotions. They make customers see beyond the product’s pricing into the aesthetics and benefits. The “shot of iPhone” campaigns depicts their emphasis on product benefits. No other company does it better.
By maintaining an aura of exclusivity, iPhones are perceived as a symbol of status. Of course, it is not a coincidence. Apple achieved that by owning its ecosystem and entire production line. And that which they can’t own, they’ll acquire. In 2021, BusinessStandard reported that Apple bought over 100 companies in the last six years.
Apple commercials usually reflect emotions like lifestyle, imagination, liberty regained, innovation, hope, aspirations, and power-to-the-people. The culmination of these powerful emotions is the bedrock of Apple’s branding success.
Over to you!
No self-fulfilling article can capture the full dynamics of Apple’s vast success. The Apple CRM case study attempts to present the top CRM strategies that have enabled Apple to achieve such desirable results. So you can replicate where possible to grow your business.
The future belongs to any business that can win the hearts of its customers by creating incredible products and a delightful experience. Apple has a community of die-hard fans because they have won the hearts of their customers. You too can.
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Have any questions or inputs, share in the comments. We’ll love to hear from you.
Deducting from the fact the Apple always chooses to own its products and processes completely, hence they are not using third-party CRM software. They’ll either have a custom CRM or ERP built for them or they create it in-house.
They build relationships with customers by making the best of products & services that the customers love. And they always take a step further in ensuring that their customers see and use the unique features in their products.
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