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January 18th, 2011

It’ s been a rough couple of years for the global economy, but both high-tech Apple and down-home Walmart are doing quite well. Each succeeds like any other business, by giving customers what they want, but they also keep people spending regardless of the direction the stock market is going, a rather more difficult challenge. We’ve blogged about financial challenges facing today’s businesses, and today we can learn from these two firms about strategies for success.

Apple’s triumphant decade

Apple LogoOver the last several years, tributes to Apple CEO Steve Jobs have appeared in such premier publications as Fortune magazine (“Steve Jobs: CEO of the Decade”), the Harvard Business Review (“Steve Jobs, Best-Performing CEO in the World”), the Wall Street Journal (“Steve Jobs: Person of the Decade”) and Adweek (“Apple: Brand of the Decade”). Our many customers with Mac Pro rentals and other Apple products already know how good the technology is, but what lessons can we learn to help our own companies?

Apple succeeds because it is focused and cuts no corners. From industrial design to the “user experience,” every Apple product has to meet not just high standards, but the highest ones. As every user of CRE’s iPad rentals knows, Apple doesn’t follow trends, it sets them. And the world follows, as the CES 2011 avalanche of wireless “padlets” proves. Lesson: Commit to quality, aim for excellence, work hard and don’t settle for second best.

A different kind of focus

Sure, Apple is on a roll, but Walmart LogoWalmart has done well over the latest decade, too. Their success is built on their famous “always low” prices, of course, but is solidified by their unrelenting commitment to A-plus customer service. Walmart spends considerable time and money to discover what it is doing wrong (and right – the stores don’t have iMac rentals but they do have iPods, iPads and iPhones), and the results of the most recent internal customer survey are interesting. Know what keeps Walmart on top? The greeters.

According to survey results going back some 40 years, the store’s greeters are second only to “low price” (and way ahead of quality) in keeping Walmart customers loyal. The key business insight gleaned from the surveys, of course, is that business is really very personal, and people value being treated with politeness, respect and a smile.

Service at every step

CRE believes in the customer service model, too – 100%. We also stay on technology’s leading edge so we can always offer you the best possible alternatives while keeping things simple, easy and glitch-free. It starts with a call, an e-mail or our Quick Rental Quote online form. An experienced Account Executive will give you the best possible service, and every contact with CRE will prove just how hard we work to do that. Your success is our success, it’s that simple.

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