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Be More Like Apple – Lessons from the iPhone 4S

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It’s the most eagerly-anticipated announcement since…well, since the last Apple announcement. And yet, it has at last arrived – the new iPhone 4S. Without a doubt, millions of consumers will flock to their nearest Apple Store to pick up the newest gadget.

Everyone can learn from Apple!

During the 1990s, Apple floundered under so-so leadership and uninspiring products. Then, founder Steve Jobs came back to take the helm in 1997. He quickly introduced the original iMac (remember those brightly-colored, all-in-one computers?). Home computing was hardly new, but the innovation (it was a computer…without a tower?!) and design (look at the pretty colors!), coupled with the superior quality (a more stable operating system, easy-to-use customer support) turned the iMac into a sensation.

And apple was, in essence, reborn.

Today, the latest iPhone or iPad announcement makes international headlines. Consumers cannot get enough of Apple and its devices. So, how can you translate Apple’s success into the success of your staffing firm?

1.  Think about the big picture.

For Apple: Apple’s detractors will point out that competing devices (most notably, Android-powered phones) have better specs (more memory, faster processors, more apps) than iPhones. Yet, the iPhone 4 is the #1 selling smart phone in the world. What is #2?  The iPhone 3Gs – a lower-end iPhone that was originally released in 2009! Why are iPhones still at the top of the heap, despite not being the “best” technical product? Apple looks at the big picture. They produce great-looking, easy-to-use products with tested apps that work (I had many frustrations with poor apps on the free-for-all Android market).

For your staffing firm: Your competitors may be larger, have more name recognition, and may provide more services than you. But, by focusing on what you do differently (and do well), and building a nurtured long-term relationship, you can cultivate loyal clients who will return to you knowing that you will provide great results, again and again.

2. Focus on the experience.

For Apple: Have you ever visited an Apple Store? It’s literally a Mac and iPhone/iPad playground, where customers and potential customers are encouraged to come in and experience firsthand what Apple products are about. Mac Geniuses (one of the titles Apple uses for its employees) are available to answer your questions and show you how to maximize your products. Once you buy an Apple product, any issues or questions can be answered promptly by calling their customer service line, or visiting the Apple Store. Tech newbies who are interested in Apple products can also purchase 1 on 1 training time with a Mac Genuis, helping them to get the most out of their product over the long term.

For your staffing firm: How long does it take for your staffing firm to answer a voicemail or email from a client or candidate? Many staffing firms say that “service” is an area where they best the competition. But can you prove it? Your client and candidate experience is essential to the long-term success of your relationships. Go above and beyond when providing service and expertise to your clients and candidates, and reap the rewards.

3. Provide results.

For Apple: One of Apple’s latest innovations, iCloud, streamlines data and documents across all your iOS devices – without a cord. Apple describes the service by saying, “It just works.” That’s part of the beauty of Apple devices. From the stability of OSX (the operating system on a Mac) to the speed and finesse of an iPhone, Apple’s products “just work,” and provide the results you expect or need, when you need them.

For your staffing firm: How many times have you received positive feedback from a client or candidate? Did you record the information? Do you have tangible results to show potential clients or candidates? Apple’s metrics document their performance versus the competition, and give a tangible reason why Apple’s products are “better.” For leery consumers, these metrics can provide an extra push toward purchasing an Apple device. Think about how you market your company to prospective clients and candidates. Can you prove that you’re “better?” If you don’t have the data to compile a list of results, gather your own data. Implement a market research survey across a range of clients and/or candidates, and compile the data into sell sheets, brochures and other marketing materials. Show people that your services provide results.

Be like Apple, not Netflix!
Although I may have been hard on Netflix in the past (maybe here…or here), there are plenty of opportunities to learn from what companies are doing right – like Apple. And if you need help becoming more like Apple, contact us here at Haley Marketing. We can help!

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