How Apple, Netflix and Uber Handle Customer Service

6 min read
Aug 8, 2016
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The best customer service

Looking to bigger brands for advice and know-how is a pretty good idea when you’re trying to improve your customer service.

The tech giants sunk millions of dollars to find out what works best and what doesn’t work at all.

You can make the smart move and use the methods they tested out and perfected over hundreds of hours.

This is the first post in a new series where I will showcase different big businesses and the way they handle customer service. I’ll go over the biggest companies from a cross section of industries.

I will go over the things these companies do right and roast them on those that they could improve.

In today’s post, I’ll be talking about Apple customer service and their Genius bars, Uber customer service and it’s split character and about the amazing quality of the Netflix customer service.

Apple customer service

Apple customer service comes in two forms. On the one side, you have their customer service page with all the options for online help. On the other side, you have Genius bars – a highly professional in-store help that has become the hallmark of Apple customer service.

When it comes to their customer service website, there’s a lot of options. Apple customer service page has most of the popular customer service routes available.

They have an option to both start a real time chat, set up a call or send an email to an expert. You go through a preliminary survey to narrow your case a bit and then you are presented with a number of options.

What’s interesting is that you can schedule a call, and you don’t have to make the call immediately.

Apple customer service

Additionally, there’s a few ready-made materials for popular topics, as well as a search option that should help you narrow down the number of available help options to the most useful ones at the moment.

The other major option available in Apple customer service is to find a physical store location where you could get help through the Genius bar. Geniuses are Apple experts working in their stores that can advise the customer and help them when they come with a support enquiry. Once again, you can make a reservation and come to the store whenever it suits you.

Not all businesses will have the facilities or manpower to do this in their physical locations but, if you do, looking up to Apple’s on-site customer service can be a good start. You could even set up a meeting like that yourself to get to see the service first-hand.

Overall, I think Apple customer service is great when it comes to the in-store experience and good when looking for help on the website. What would be nice is more alternative means for communication as not all customers will want to pick up the phone to ask a simple questions. Being able to choose the email or chat option for more cases (these options are not available for all cases/countries) would definitely go a long way for those customers.

Uber customer service

Uber is in a peculiar situation where they have to help two separate audiences at the same time. Uber customer service is both for riders and partners. Riders are normal customers catching a ride and partners are drivers who provide the rides.

It’s definitely a bit of a pain to split your customer service efforts like that. With so many customers and Uber drivers using the app around the world, the demand for Uber customer service is probably pretty high. What do they have in store then?

Well, it doesn’t look like that much. Uber customer service is available through their website as well as the application. First off, the have a FAQ/Knowledge Base section for both riders and drivers that covers the most popular cases. There’s a search option that should make navigating the knowledge base a bit easier.

Apart from the knowledge base, there’s also a call to action on the website urging customers to ask questions on Twitter. Social media customer service is great and all, especially considering that the account is fairly active (a response goes out every minute or two), but it would be great if there were some alternatives too. Adding a ticket or email option wouldn’t be that different than handling social media via Twitter and would provide more options for Uber customers and drivers.

Uber customer service

If you go over the latest tweets, you should be able to spot a couple of cases where the team shares their email for more complex cases or when a customer needs to share some sensitive information (a very good practice by the way). It would be nice if the same email would be available on the Uber customer service page.

All in all, thumbs up for social customer service and thumbs down for the number of customer service options available. To be honest, I was expecting a bit more from a company that makes the quality of the Uber service one of their main selling points.

Netflix customer service

The streaming service provided one of the better customer service experiences I recently had.

When I first visited the Netflix customer service website, I think I’ve reached some kind of customer experience haven!

Netflix customer service

All the popular and liked customer service options were available. You can call Netflix via a toll-free number. You can email them. You can also get help through self-service by browsing their extensive knowledge base. There’s a search option that makes this even easier.

Finally, there’s also a live chat option available for some real-time customer service. I decided to go for chat since the website claimed the chat has 1 minute response time. What’s impressive, they had listed the same response time for phone, which is definitely OK in my book as customers expect short response times like this.

Once I got into chat, the agent was able to quickly help me with my issue. Although most of the solutions they’ve suggested I’ve already tried out, they also provided a few alternatives not listed on the website.

For a service that is based entirely online, good customer service is a do or die kind of a deal. If they fall short in this department, customers will be quick to switch to another streaming provider. Thankfully, Netflix customer service is really good. If you’re looking for an example of a company that is doing online customer service really well, you should look no more because Netflix customer service is what you should be looking at.

Big customer service implementation

What are your experiences with these companies? If there is anything missing here or you want to share your own experience, feel free to do so in the comments sections.

In the next post on big customer service implementations, we’re doing cable and internet providers with a touch of ecommerce: Comcast, Verizon and Amazon.

What other companies you would like to see in this series? Drop us a comment and we’ll make it happen.

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