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sales and customer service within Apple

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Introduction

Sales & Customer Service within Apple Introduction Internet purchasing has become more and more popular over the past 5 years from books and music to clothes and technology. Last year, goods worth �19.2bn were sold through the Internet in Britain, an increase of 34% compared to the previous year and up from �800m in 2000 (Seager, 2006). This increase in Internet interest has provided a need to offer additional customer-related services online, and advances in technology have enabled companies to enhance their customer services with vast improvements in technology. Excellent customer service defined by ACA Group ' is the ability of an organisation to constantly and consistently exceed the customer's expectations" (Ward, 2006). Customer satisfaction can be classified into two dimensions, the basic benefits of the product i.e. hygiene factors and additional services, including support services such as customer assistance. These help companies to differentiate their products from their competitors and to achieve customer loyalty. Customer services may be introduced in any phase of the customer's buying process. How do customers buy from the business? Apple operate a Business to consumer model and it is vital that they target their customers effectively and meet their needs. It is thought that the more digital products or services are, the more relevant the Internet will be for their delivery (Levenburg, 006) ...read more.

Middle

What information and facilities are provided to support selling and customer service? According to a survey released in August 2000 by the Gartner Group, even the popular e-retailers fail to provide high-quality online customer service. Of the top consumer e-retail sites, Gartner did not rate a single one 'good' or 'excellent for online customer service (Oz, 2002). This is due to retailers not using technology to their best advantage for providing the latest means of customer service such as helping customers make purchasing decisions, receive prompt answers to their questions and obtaining satisfactory help both with the service and the products they purchase (Oz, 2002). There are various facilities to support customers in purchasing the Apple products. The main way of purchasing the Apple products is via the Internet, and there are systems in place to ease this process for the consumer, such as clear visible links to each stage of the purchasing process. In order to increase customer focus and thereby enhance customer service, a company has to know more about their customers and their needs, and be able to act on that information (Looy et al, 2003). Apple is able to achieve this by keeping records of their customer's purchases and provide a feedback area to determine whether customers are fully satisfied (Apple, 2006) ...read more.

Conclusion

Once they have registered they can sign in easily with their unique username and password each time they access the site. This password protects customers from unauthorised people purchasing items using their bank details. By registering their details onto the site, as well as being able to purchase products easily, Apple can determine what their needs are and inform them via e-mail or text about new products and discounts which they would be interested in. Recommendations Apple are an extremely successful company both from retail sales and online sales. However, with the growing demand for high quality customer service online Apple must implement the necessary system whereby their customers needs are satisfied. They offer luxury products and their customer service should match this. Although there are measures already in place, Apple need to create a more personal service whereby, the customer feels cared for. I feel that it would be beneficial to Apple to implement a service such as the one on the American Express website where, customers can be automatically connected to a phone line with a click of a button to speak to an advisor. I feel the area in need of improvement is the customer integration stage, they could improve this by creating a forum where customers can leave feedback on their experiences with Apple and offer advice to potential consumers. If other customers have been satisfied with the services then other customers would be more inclined to purchase online. ...read more.

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