Apple Stores to Adjust Genius Bar Appointments, Set to Train Employees on New Initiative

Saturday July 26, 2014 2:08 PM PDT by Richard Padilla
Apple is planning to make a number of changes at its retail stores ahead of the upcoming holiday season, which include adjustments to Genius Bar appointments and training for its employees on a new initiative, according to 9to5Mac.

apple_store_genius_bar_official
The report notes that Apple will do away with the suggested 15 minute time limit for Genius Bar appointments in favor of a system that allows customers to book sessions with time limits based on how many issues they have. A few Apple Retail Stores have already started training for the new measures, as a full rollout of the new policy is expected to take place in the near future.

The company will also reportedly be training its employees on a significant new initiative from Sunday, August 10 to Thursday, August 28, which may pertain to in-store iPhone activations. During the aforementioned time period, Genius Bar employees will receive three hours of training while sales employees will receive five hours of training.

Lastly, Apple will be standardizing its attire for all of its U.S. retail employees, as those on the Apple Store Business Team will switch from their black polo shirts to the blue T-shirts worn by other retail employees.

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17 weeks ago

I did read the article, and no it doesn't appear they're fixing it. When I go to the Apple store this is what happens. Let's assume I have an appointment for 5:30pm.

[LIST=1]
[*]Arrive at 5:25 to check in - I'm told someone will be with me right away.
[*]5:30 - no one has yet to help me.
[*]5:45 - still no one has yet to help me
[*]5:50 - finally being helped - (I dropped my iPhone in the toilet)
[*]5:55 - Genius agrees to swap my phone out (says it'll talke 5 more mins)
[*]6:00 - still no replacement yet.
[*]6:05 - dude arrives from the back with my replacement.
[*]6:15 - out the door and on my way home.
[/LIST]

Something that should literally take 10 mins ends up taking almost a full hour. Ridiculous.

Every damn time I go to the apple store this is my experience. My appointment was for 5:30, I expect to be talking to a genius at or around 5:30 (I'll wait till 5:40 cuz I'm nice like that).


Stop taking your iPhone into the bathroom...
Rating: 20 Votes
17 weeks ago

I did read the article, and no it doesn't appear they're fixing it. When I go to the Apple store this is what happens. Let's assume I have an appointment for 5:30pm.

[LIST=1]
[*]Arrive at 5:25 to check in - I'm told someone will be with me right away.
[*]5:30 - no one has yet to help me.
[*]5:45 - still no one has yet to help me
[*]5:50 - finally being helped - (I dropped my iPhone in the toilet)
[*]5:55 - Genius agrees to swap my phone out (says it'll talke 5 more mins)
[*]6:00 - still no replacement yet.
[*]6:05 - dude arrives from the back with my replacement.
[*]6:15 - out the door and on my way home.
[/LIST]

Something that should literally take 10 mins ends up taking almost a full hour. Ridiculous.

Every damn time I go to the apple store this is my experience. My appointment was for 5:30, I expect to be talking to a genius at or around 5:30 (I'll wait till 5:40 cuz I'm nice like that).


And while you're sitting around waiting, your Genius is helping four other people. That's my experience.
Rating: 8 Votes
17 weeks ago


As for the new initiative, when I go to the Apple store with what should be a 5 min fix, it ends up taking 30 mins. They should fix that!


If it's a 5 min fix then why don't you do it yourself? They're either going to show you what settings you have input incorrectly, restore your device or repair/replace it. Only the latter requires you to go to the store. Take some ownership of your issues before complaining about someone else trying to help you with them.
Rating: 7 Votes
17 weeks ago

Did you read the article? It seems like they're fixing just that!

"The report notes that Apple will do away with the suggested 15 minute time limit for Genius Bar appointments in favor of a system that allows customers to book sessions with time limits based on how many issues they have."

Yippee! :)

I did read the article, and no it doesn't appear they're fixing it. When I go to the Apple store this is what happens. Let's assume I have an appointment for 5:30pm.

[LIST=1]
[*]Arrive at 5:25 to check in - I'm told someone will be with me right away.
[*]5:30 - no one has yet to help me.
[*]5:45 - still no one has yet to help me
[*]5:50 - finally being helped - (I dropped my iPhone in the toilet)
[*]5:55 - Genius agrees to swap my phone out (says it'll talke 5 more mins)
[*]6:00 - still no replacement yet.
[*]6:05 - dude arrives from the back with my replacement.
[*]6:15 - out the door and on my way home.
[/LIST]

Something that should literally take 10 mins ends up taking almost a full hour. Ridiculous.

Every damn time I go to the apple store this is my experience. My appointment was for 5:30, I expect to be talking to a genius at or around 5:30 (I'll wait till 5:40 cuz I'm nice like that).
Rating: 7 Votes
17 weeks ago
Clothing doesn't improve the skill level of the person fixing my phone. Do the job and be clean; it doesn't mean anything if you're wearing a pink tutu. Well, it might mean you like wearing tutus. But my phone is fixed.
Rating: 7 Votes
17 weeks ago

If it's a 5 min fix then why don't you do it yourself? They're either going to show you what settings you have input incorrectly, restore your device or repair/replace it. Only the latter requires you to go to the store. Take some ownership of your issues before complaining about someone else trying to help you with them.


A 5 min headphone replacement turned into 60 min, with an appointment. He raises a legitimate point.
Rating: 4 Votes
17 weeks ago

I did read the article, and no it doesn't appear they're fixing it. When I go to the Apple store this is what happens. Let's assume I have an appointment for 5:30pm.

[LIST=1]
[*]Arrive at 5:25 to check in - I'm told someone will be with me right away.
[*]5:30 - no one has yet to help me.
[*]5:45 - still no one has yet to help me
[*]5:50 - finally being helped - (I dropped my iPhone in the toilet)
[*]5:55 - Genius agrees to swap my phone out (says it'll talke 5 more mins)
[*]6:00 - still no replacement yet.
[*]6:05 - dude arrives from the back with my replacement.
[*]6:15 - out the door and on my way home.
[/LIST]

Something that should literally take 10 mins ends up taking almost a full hour. Ridiculous.

Every damn time I go to the apple store this is my experience. My appointment was for 5:30, I expect to be talking to a genius at or around 5:30 (I'll wait till 5:40 cuz I'm nice like that).


Your appointment didn't even come close to being an hour.

It doesn't matter if you arrive before your appointment time, if your appointment is 5.30 then any time before that is being wasted by you, not Apple. You then said your phone was given back to you by 6.05. So in reality, it's taken you 35 minutes. A handover to leave doesn't take 10 minutes.

Even then, if that was happening every time, the store would be getting crucified for it by corporate. And then it would get fixed. Numbers like that aren't allowed to become the norm.
Rating: 4 Votes
17 weeks ago

I did read the article, and no it doesn't appear they're fixing it. When I go to the Apple store this is what happens. Let's assume I have an appointment for 5:30pm.

[LIST=1]
[*]Arrive at 5:25 to check in - I'm told someone will be with me right away.
[*]5:30 - no one has yet to help me.
[*]5:45 - still no one has yet to help me
[*]5:50 - finally being helped - (I dropped my iPhone in the toilet)
[*]5:55 - Genius agrees to swap my phone out (says it'll talke 5 more mins)
[*]6:00 - still no replacement yet.
[*]6:05 - dude arrives from the back with my replacement.
[*]6:15 - out the door and on my way home.
[/LIST]

Something that should literally take 10 mins ends up taking almost a full hour. Ridiculous.

Every damn time I go to the apple store this is my experience. My appointment was for 5:30, I expect to be talking to a genius at or around 5:30 (I'll wait till 5:40 cuz I'm nice like that).



Let me get this straight, you're bothered that it takes less than an hour to replace, activate and restore a phone?

If you were working with any other company, you would be on hold, speaking to someone halfway around the world, and waiting 3-5 business days for a refurbished phone. Then calling back to activate. And considering the fact that you assume there no legal or systematic paperwork to be filled out, you're obviously not going to be bright enough to restore the phone yourself. So you'll end up back in the apple store asking for someone to walk you through a process you could have done on your own.

Oh, and if you don't like going to the apple store, then call their customer support and get the phone mailed to you.

The worst part is, I don't feel sorry for you. I feel sorry for the genius that got stuck working with you for an hour.
Rating: 4 Votes
17 weeks ago
Have you guys never been to a doctor before? Or a hairdresser? Have they ever seen you a little bit late? They reserve 15 minute sessions but some things go on longer, some things go on shorter. The reason you book in is so everyone doesn't just show up at lunch time. Having to wait a few minutes (even a few 10s of minutes) is normal!

And those 4 people you saw your genius with? Those are the 4 people booked in front of you! Not four people that the genius chose to see INSTEAD, as some people seem to want to make out.

Some interactions are easy for them. "Oh you liquid damaged your iPhone? $329". Some are harder. The customer doesn't know their appleID, they are unable to check for a backup, they dispute some third party repair, there is debate, they have to talk to a manager, they have to CS-Code it (customer satisfaction code), there is paper work, wiping the old device, some snide remark, and several "oh just one quick question".

Add on to that that if someone calls in sick (which for a large Family Room team the odds are high) someone else needs to pick up that set of reservations (and where is that person pulled from? Repairs? Open Training for the one to one members? Hope that there is a Red Zoner that happens to have mobile genius access?

Not to mention that 1/3rd of reservations are no-shows. So how do they balance between wanting to maximise the amount of sessions in the family room, whilst not screwing themselves over on those random occasions that everyone shows up?

Guys, the point is stop looking at it from such a microscopic view point and start looking at it as a whole. If you can think of suggestions on how they can improve it, put it on your NPS form (customer survey). Just make sure that it can be implemented Family Room wide, and not just about your own single interaction.
Rating: 4 Votes
17 weeks ago

"those on the Apple Store Business Team will switch from their black polo shirts to the blue T-shirts worn by other retail employees."

Nothing screams "unprofessional" like a t-shirt. The new head of retail needs her head examined.


No one doing real, serious, hardcore business sales is buying from an Apple Retail Store as anything but a convenience. Bringing them in-line with the rest of retail is a good thing, removing the ridiculous sense of self-importance most Apple Retail Business Team members have - and I say this as someone who was one - you're still a retail drone. If you were good at B2B, you'd be working in B2B for real and not "as needed" at a retail store.
Rating: 3 Votes

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