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Yes, many Steve Jobs blog posts have been written.  Yes, he deserved and earned every one of them.  I make no secret that I am a huge fan of his, of Apple and their vision of An Apple on Every Desk.                        

Jonathan Mak photo

(Photo credit: Jonathan Mak)

But, there is a customer service legacy of his that is not getting the notice it deserves.  The thing that makes Apple so different from my perspective is that they think and act like we do. We don’t have to learn a new language or thought process.  We just do and it does for us.  The concept of a cloud is not quite there yet on a consumer level, but will be when Apple does it full bore.  Because it is where all of our libraries will live and our devices will just know that.  I won’t have to think, which is good.

But everyone is talking about those things.  What they are not giving him credit for is the incredible ease of being an Apple customer.  The service mindset of the company is, plain and simple, take care of the customer.  Broken device?  Replace it no questions asked (if under warranty).  Don’t haggle about whose fault or blame or maybe I can get it replaced.  Just give me a new iPad, send me out the door and I have a smile on my face because I didn’t have to hassle with a “process.”  Just like iTunes. I don’t have to think.  I just do. 

I don’t know many other companies that execute “Take Care of the Customer” as well as they do.  And the legacy really is deeper than that because it speaks to two hidden issues. First, it empowers front line people to make decisions and do the right thing.  No “let me ask my manager.”  Second, it turns most Apple consumers into annuities.  No, I haven’t ordered a new 4S iPhone, but that is the first Apple product I have not bought at launch since the original iPhone.  I doubt I do that without the vision, the people and the product.  All of that came from Mr. Jobs. We will miss you and thank you for making our lives easier and more fun. 

Who are some of your favorite customer service companies?

I am Mike Ferretti, the Chairman and CEO of Great Harvest. But, I am also a dad who grew up in a world with old fashioned business ethics. Before Great Harvest, I thought those days and companies were gone. Luckily, I now get to work with a group with a strong moral compass that genuinely lives "Give generously to others" and "Run fast to serve customers." And we do it with more than just lip service in a way that allows us to set an example for others. I am proud that my kids are proud of what I do for a living.