As you may have noticed, I recently returned from a hectic two-week trip to the US for an education and higher education conference (Educause09) in Denver Colorado and a race through various institutions (university libraries, state archives and factories) equipped with automated storage and repository systems (ASRS).
I have to add that I travelled with an iPhone (a work phone) and a new 13″ MacBook Pro (my own). Both of these Apple devices proved to be robust, efficient and very reliable for the entire trip. I had no hassles staying in touch and making new contacts by email, Twitter, web, Flickr, SMS, etc. And I found connecting to what seems to be a pretty standard offering of free (or included) wifi access in my hotel rooms no probs whatsoever. Apple devices just work without any hassles.
I also visited a few Apples stores and ended up purchasing a cool purple acrylic protective cover for my new MacBook in Denver and some noise reducing headphones in San Francisco. There is something about Apple Stores that I find irresistible (quite apart from the fact that I am kind of addicted to the design and functionality of most Apple devices). In two different stores I found excellent customer service and easily processed sales where I stood with friendly staff on their hand-held devices. I even had the option (which I took) of receiving a receipt electronically by email. When back in Sydney I was alerted to the following post about the new Apple Store that just opened in NYC by one of the people I follow on Twitter: Apple: the “New Nordstrum“.
The post explains it in talking about the opening of the new store in New York:
The beauty of the stores are effective but that’s not what’s ultimately driving sales. At the end of the day, the physical store is merely the visible manifestation of the Apple customer experience.
That is where I think we need to go with the services we offer in libraries.