The Best Retailer in the World just got Better
Not content with sitting on their laurels as the worlds best retail brand (with sales/m2 markedly greater than Lululemon at number two) Apple have looked to revamp their in-store product servicing offer known as ‘The Genius Bar’. Customers experiencing any issue what-so-ever with their Mac products are already directed into their nearest store to the Genius Bar. Now the appointment-making process is about to become even easier for those with busy schedules, further minimizing frustration for those with urgent tech problems and (to Apple’s great benefit) getting more customers spending more time in their stores.
Apple’s new ‘Concierge’ initiative aims to improve the customer experience at the stores for the ‘Right Now Generation’ of people who don’t like to plan ahead (a growing segment of the market). Apple employees already use iPads and iPhones as pagers to order products for customers, take credit card payments and set up Genius Bar service appointments, now the latest changes take this intuitive use of their technology a step further. Instead of making an appointment and/or waiting in a long line, customers describe their problem to a Concierge on site, who puts it into a custom designed iPad application. The app uses an algorithm to triage the customer’s problem, sending it to the front or back of the queue according to priority. A broken device screen, for example, will get higher priority than someone needing one-on-one help with ‘GarageBand’.
Customers are kept engaged through their own smart device (phone or tablet) by; 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 – and a third text message telling the customer that their technician is ready to help and where they can be located in the store.
Having successfully tested the concept in a few small markets, Apple is now keen to roll-out the new servicing model to stores around the world. A great example of a market leading brand demonstrating the behavior that got them to the top of their tree in the first place.