#1 Customer Service in the World
Upon college graduation, I set forth on an unconventional path from the Ivy League to retail, while the plurality of my peers went on to conventionally prestigious employment in investment banking and management consulting. As part of the inaugural class of the Apple Store Leader Program, I was immersed within the current culture, developing empathy and finding ways to improve the store with grassroots initiatives and solutions. Over our two-year, experiment-oriented program, we failed much more often than we succeeded, but the short and quick rotations allowed us numerous chances to refine and refocus our technique.
One successful initiative I championed was improving customer service through our customer feedback data. Customer experience is quantified by a metric called Net Promoter Score (NPS), which is gathered through emailed surveys, and calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. Our store in San Francisco was always ranked near 60 (out of over 300) globally for customer service, with NPS hovering around 70, but we knew we had the talent to take our store higher.
We already analyzed and displayed NPS to our staff daily, but NPS was customarily displayed as one score for the whole team. In order to celebrate each contributing individual, and to give everyone a sense of personal accountability for their service, I matched each score to its corresponding employees, and ranked the top 35 employees (out of 100) based on their individual NPS (their percentage of detractors subtracted from their percentage of promoters).
Anyone could ask for their individual NPS, but only the top 35 would be made public. The ranking was updated and displayed daily. The employees were visibly excited to be recognized consistently for the hard work they do.
I also divided NPS based on product categories and service categories, splitting up customer experiences for Macs, iPhones, iPads, and iPods in both sales and repair. When we discovered that our lowest performing category was iPhones, a few mentors took it upon themselves to elevate the iPhone customer journey.
These twin strategies empowered the team to rise from 60th place of 300 stores to 1st, scoring in the 80s, and staying there for two months. We realized that individual recognition and precise, category-delineated metric analysis can have a substantial impact on team motivation.