Apple is going to make big changes on its shop floors by tweaking the way it handles customer problems.
The company is aiming to improve the way it operates its Genius Bar operation by launched a “Concierge” service, 9to5Mac reports. The Genius Bar is Apple’s retail help/advice resource that provides specialist knowledge and expertise to anyone in need.
As things stand, people have to organise appointments on a walk-in basis. You have to go into an Apple Store, talk to someone about your issues, and then get a time slot to come back in.
But Apple’s new system, sources have told 9to5Mac, is going to prioritise the process so that more serious customer problems are dealt with sooner. The big change is on point of contact: When told about a problem, Apple Store employees will enter it into an iPad app and then give out a waiting time based on how bad the situation is. The Concierge service will use a set algorithm to determine who should be seen first. Some Apple employees say the move is one of the most significant changes to the way shop floors are run in years.
It means that if someone has a cracked iPhone screen, for example, they will be seen a lot quicker than someone who just wants to learn more about how to take better photographs.
Customers will be asked to give out their phone number to the Genius Bar and Apple will contact them via a series of text messages to update them on when they will get help. The alerts start at a waiting time length, move on to a call to go back to the Apple Store, and finish with a message that tells people when a technician is ready.
9to5Mac explains that the changes are being led by Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior VP for Retail. She’s made quite an impact since her appointment last year: Ahrendts has brought in new staff uniforms; stepped up the company’s expansion into China; and is heavily involved in the Apple Watch roll-out. She’s also working on redesigning Apple Stores with design boss Jony Ive.