According to a 9to5Mac report, Apple is looking to improve the customer experience at its retails stores by making significant changes to the way Genius Bar appointments are given to customers seeking assistance. Currently, customers can walk into an Apple retail store, explain the issue to a check-in assistant and get a specific time to return for a Genius Bar appointment. However, this is soon about to change.
Starting next month, possibly during the week of March 9th, Apple’s U.S. retails stores will launch a new initiative called “The new Concierge”, which is headed by the company’s Retail Senior Vice President Angela Ahrendts and will replace the traditional walk-in Genius Bar appointments. The source claims that under the new program, when a customer describes the issue to an Apple Store employee, who inputs the issue into an updated iPad app, the application provides the customer a wait time based on issue priorities “using a special algorithm”. So a customer seeking an iPhone screen replacement will automatically be placed higher in the queue than a customer needing help with a minor iCloud issue.
The customer then provides a phone number, which Apple uses to send three text messages with wait time updates:
- An initial text message confirming the Genius Bar request and providing the wait time
- A text message telling the customer to start heading back to the Apple Store
- A final text message telling the customer that their technician is ready to help and where they can be located in the store
Multiple Apple employees have called the new feature one of the most significant changes to Apple Store operations in several years, as it allows customers to request support on the spot, shop elsewhere inside of the mall, and then return when the store is ready to service them.
The report also notes that all Genius Bar appointments that are booked online will remain unchanged and will not gain the forthcoming text message-based system.