Customer experience in county-run Health and Human Services Agencies BETTER than Apple?


Recently, I dropped my iPhone 6 in the river while attempting to take a picture. My iPhone is one of the primary tools I use to conduct business. My phone is essential for my business to run properly. So I called Applecare. I waited on the line for 10 minutes - not bad, but not great.

Once I was speaking with a technician, I was told to go into an Apple store to swap out my phone. I then discovered that I could not get an appointment until Thursday – which was unacceptable considering it is a business-essential device. So then they said that I could walk in but would need to wait. I show up at Apple - Walnut Creek at 3:00 p.m. There are lines and wait times out the door. It takes 15 minutes to speak with someone who tells me a technician won’t be available until 7:00 p.m. When I come back at 7, I wait for only 10 minutes. The technician is very nice and very helpful. I am thrilled to have a new phone.

Then I get the connection: I stop and smile - Apple is a trillion dollar, publicly traded organization with a price to earnings ratio through the roof. The company prides itself on the customer experience and sells extremely expensive products with a mission to make the use of technology easier.

The customer experience many county-run Health and Human Services Agencies have created and continue to strive towards are in many instances BETTER than Apple. The office wait times are often shorter. Not only can these county agencies help people over the phone, but have also created process and technology to streamline the lobby experience and minimize the number of times someone needs to return to a lobby. There is still much to do to continuously improve the customer experience and staff efficiency but, stop and smell the roses. We are doing well so far.

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