Apple’s CEO Tim Cook reads what customers say in their emails to him — and sometimes their suggestions do trigger actual change in products.
That’s according to a new report which notes that these “Dear Tim” emails are often read by an assistant. The most relevant ones are then forwarded onto Cook. Where necessary, they are then pushed to employees in other departments.
“The letters have had a particularly large impact on Apple’s health team. After the Apple Watch launched in 2015, the company promoted a variety of features on it, including communications, entertainment, and health and fitness tracking. But then the missives started pouring in from users, describing how the device alerted them to potentially serious medical conditions and even saved lives. After this, Apple began shifting the emphasis of the watch more toward health features.”
We have covered plenty of these stories at Cult of Mac. In recent times, Tim Cook has been talking about Apple’s push into mobile health as possibly the company’s greatest legacy.
Listening to customers
Tim Cook has previously talked about waking up early to read customer emails. During his 2013 address at Auburn University, Cook commented that: “I receive hundreds of e-mails from customers every day. And I read them all.”
Cook isn’t the first Apple CEO to make themselves publicly available in this way, either. Steve Jobs also had a firstname.lastname@example.org address, which customers could use to contact him. While the number of messages received meant he couldn’t reply to every one, Jobs did send emails to many people who wrote him. It’s not clear whether any of the messages Jobs received caused him to change direction with products. Jobs did, after all, famously comment on how it was not up to customers to tell him what products they wanted to see next.
From health to hold music
This is not the first time that we’ve heard how emails received by Tim Cook have changed Apple products. Back in 2014, a Reddit user recalled sending Cook a message about Apple’s distorted on-hold music. They noted that:
“I once sent Tim an email about the quality of music while on hold with Apple. It was super low quality, therefore an upbeat rock song sounded like pure distortion and really aggravated me … Much to my surprise a lady from Cupertino called me up the next day, saying she’d received a concerning email from Tim about ugly distortion hold music while on the phone, that Tim had tested this himself and agreed that something had to be done. She assured me that the hold music would be tested to make sure it sounded pleasant on all types of phones and connections. The next time I called Apple, the hold music was indeed very pleasant.”
Have you ever sent or received an email to or from an Apple executive? Let us know in the comments below.