There have already been many words written about the walled gardens of tech companies. Usually reserved for talk about Apple and its tight grip, it’s also a long-term aim of almost every company. Build a reliance on your company that runs too deep to change, and you will have a customer for life but perhaps a frustrated one.
You can achieve this in many ways. You can’t simply build a product that is so good that others pale in comparison because, eventually, someone else will either copy or overtake you. There needs to be a grip that keeps a customer, and the strongest grip in technology circles is to provide everything your customers may ever need. There is no denying this approach when I think about my purchases and reliance on Apple, but it isn’t just about what they sell.
The reality is, for me at least, the premium I pay for the products I buy from Apple is a worthy exchange for the service I get. Not only is it a well-rounded software and hardware experience, unlike any other I have experienced. The purchasing service and the after sales support is unmatched. I can’t find another company that provides me with a complete wrap around service that Apple does, and although it feels trapping at times, it gives me a huge amount of confidence.
I appreciate the level of service that Apple gives in retail is not as good as it used to be. Some interactions feel more like a sales pitch than a support visit. With that said I have experienced, in the past Samsung and more recently Nordictrack, customer service once I have made a significant purchase and nothing seems to live up.
This doesn’t mean that I cannot be critical of the things I use, nor does it mean I am not open to new experiences. It simply means that I am aware of what keeps me using Apple products, and it isn’t just the fact I am trapped by services. App stores and competition of services doesn’t really bother me, but a company I put my investment in providing good service does — as such I am, unfortunately, stuck!