Act with Certainty

The ForeSee blog for CX professionals and the Voice of Customer community.

How Apple’s ‘courage’ to ditch the headphone jack relies on customer satisfaction

Apple Satisfaction

There are a lot of people poking fun at Apple’s Phil Schiller for saying that the company’s decision to ditch the headphone jack on the new iPhone 7 came down to having the “courage” to create a better solution for how people listen to audio. The comment left Mr. Schiller wide open for ridicule, but being in the business of measuring customer experience I definitely interpreted it much differently.

The new iPhone 7 featuring Apple's new wireless Airpods intended to make the headphone jack obsolete.

The new iPhone 7 featuring Apple’s new wireless Airpods intended to make the headphone jack obsolete.

If you don’t usually follow Apple product news, the company announced a new version of the iPhone last week, sans audio jack — something that people all across the internet criticized as an inconvenience, to put it mildly. Despite knowing it would get pushback from consumers — and potentially affect sales of the new device, the company moved forward. I would most definitely call that “courage,” but it’s worth explaining where that courage came from.

To put it simply, the courage comes from knowing that you have immense loyalty from your customers. And the best way to attain high loyalty is by maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction. (Apple CEO Tim Cook even referenced this on stage during the event, as shown in the image above!)

But Apple is a rare breed among retail companies. It is a captain of industry, and sometimes that means taking risks that will pay off for the overall business in the years ahead. So for instance, that means pushing out innovations with its headphone business to generate renewed interest in a product category that typically hasn’t changed much in the last couple decades. Whether that move — removing the headphone jack — will pay off is another discussion entirely, but for Apple to make a decision like this with any sort of courage means it knows it has high enough customer loyalty to pull it off.

For most other retailers, it can be much more difficult to know how loyal their customers are and gauge their satisfaction well enough to make confident decisions about the business. Basically, if you aren’t Apple (or really, even if you are) you need a strategy that can measure the customer experience as if it was a science.

Want to know how ForeSee’s technology can help you measure your company’s customer experience to gain valuable insights? Contact us today.

About the Author

Eric drives ForeSee’s marketing strategy, working closely with the company’s product, client service, and sales teams to infuse innovation and operational excellence into its offerings. Since joining ForeSee in 2004, he has contributed to the organization’s strategic growth, particularly providing leadership around mobile solutions. He is the author of several of the company’s thought leadership studies, including the 11th annual ForeSee Experience Index (FXI) and the American Employee Study. Eric is a frequent speaker on customer experience analytics, and marketing best practices. He is a board member of the Digital Analytics Association (DAA) and an adjunct professor of mobile marketing at the University of California, Irvine Extension. Previously, he worked as a web analyst, multichannel strategy consultant, usability specialist and focus group moderator. Eric is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

Read more posts by Eric Feinberg

Write a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *