Apple Inc. is leading computer hardware, software and consumer devices company known around the world for its “Think Different” attitude that shows up in all the innovations it does. Founded by Steve Jobs in 1976, Apple is known for its Macintosh range of computers and laptops called iMacs and the Macintosh Operating systems. One of some very well known consumer device products, iPod, the mp3 player, also comes from Apple and is one of its flagship products. Apple has always been known for its artistic approach towards product design as well as providing excellent quality in its products as well as after sales support around the world. Apple, as with other companies, has great strong online customer support options available for its customers around the globe.

Apple's products do not come cheap; period. They, like some other manufacturers including Dell, do not believe in providing cheap (in terms of quality) and low end hardware and software to their customers. They have their baseline products starting from quiet high quality levels which makes them costly but also increase the customer satisfaction overall. This is the reason for them having the highest percentage of loyal customers and repeat buyers. They don't have many physical stores in the market so online customer support becomes the main source of support for many of its customers, especially for those, who are not living in metropolitan cities.

Support options on the website of apple features some really good, neatly arranged options. Users can download driver and updates for their devices and firmware from the downloads section or can browse through detailed support articles, tutorials, video walkthroughs etc to get solution to their common problems as well as to learn more about the devices they own and love. There is an option called "Ask the Apple Experts" labeled quiet prominently on the website which allows the customers to get support from Apple support staff personnel on live chat as well as using a ticketing system.

One great utility available is the Online Support Assistant, which by the help of browser extensions, can analyze your iMac and Macbook system and provide targeted assistance. This utility works in conjunction to a software tool called TechTool Deluxe which is similar to the Dell Support Centre provided by Dell to its customers.

Customers can also extend their product warranty online and there is even an option to exchange their older hardware to get new ones in a separate sections dedicated to that on the website.

Overall, it’s a pleasant experience being an Apple customer, thanks to its great online support service offerings.
 

In today’s world customer satisfaction has become an important factor in overall growth of the company. To interact with customer, companies are providing online customer support or Help Desk. While Help desk work is normally limited with troubleshooting problems, online customer support is more varied with providing the pre-sale assistance as well as the post-sale support to the customers. Apart from direct help, online customer support also includes online forums and communities which provide ways for customer query to be addressed.

One of the main advantages of help desk is that the all customer queries are tracked by ticketing mechanism i.e. each query of customer will be logged in a tracking mechanism and will be tracked till its closure irrespective of which support personal answered ticket first. By this way, based on the nature of issue, the query is assigned to appropriate support personal .There is always a set timeframe and escalation hierarchy defined with each ticket so the customer query/issue will get resolved in best possible way in least possible time. In case of online customer support direct queries are either through mails or live chats .But there is no fixed tracking mechanism hence there can be flexibility in the amount of time taken or quality of help provided to the customer.

In case the online customer support is provided in the form of live chats then customer can immediately chat with the support personal and get a speedy answer to a query. It also adds the personal touch of talking with a person in real time. This is particularly helpful if the support is provided at a time when the customer is about to buy a product and has some small doubts about it. Interacting with a support person at this time will help increase the sales of the product.

In case of helpdesk the customer questions and their answers are online in one tool they can be sorted in many different ways. Hence they simply easier to find by operators which increase the efficiency and solution consistency .Moreover they can be put into the knowledgebase of company which can be open for all customers which will increase the site traffic. In case of online support there is no common tool where the answers are placed. Though self-help sections are provided but they cannot be automatically transferred from the emails/chat answers to self-help information centre so the database cannot be stronger comparatively.