Apple Store employees—internal customers—are empowered to do what is right for a customer. I talked to one Apple Specialist who was told to stand by the cash register at the back of the store (yes, there is still a cash register in the Apple Store for customers who don’t want to swipe their credit cards on an iPhone app). The Specialist spotted a customer who had been in the store twice before. The Specialist left his position without telling his manager. His manager saw what had happened and brought in someone else from another part of the store to fill the position. When the Specialist returned to his position at the cash register, the manager did not scold him. Instead he was praised in front of his peers for making a customer happy. Shortly before he passed away, Steve Jobs told Tim Cook that he didn’t want employees to ask themselves, “What would Steve do?” Instead they were to ask themselves, “What is the right thing to do?” Apple Store employees are empowered to do what they think is right to create a satisfying customer experience.
When you enrich the lives of your employees, they are more engaged in your business and less likely to leave. When you enrich the lives of your customers or clients, they will reward you with their business and become your most ardent fans. Then you enter the business of enriching lives, magical things start to happen. Stop selling things to people. Start enriching their lives instead.