From Disney to Ritz Carlton to Apple - great customer experiences don’t happen by accident. As I’ve said before, every brand, especially every service brand, has a customer experience. The question is just how well thought out it is, and whether it meets both the needs of customers and the company. For too many companies, their customer experience is incompletely thought through and too much is left to chance. Or too often it’s believed that great customer experiences just happen without reason or control, or just stem from a company’s particular DNA. None of which are true.
Leave it to Apple to go to great lengths to work on the “how well thought out it is” part. As with most other things Apple, this Genius training exhibits fanatical attention to detail.
Gizmodo has gotten its hands on a training manual for Genius staff, and it’s 100 or so pages to cover a 14 day course, including everything from diagnostic protocols to mild social engineering. (It has to be said, the cover of the manual is not up to Apple design snuff. Not at all.)
The point of this bootcamp is to fill you up with Genius Actions and Characteristics, listed conveniently on a “What” and “How” list on page seven of the manual. What does a Genius do? Educates. How? “Gracefully.” He also “Takes Ownership” “Empathetically,” “Recommends” “Persuasively,” and “Gets to ‘Yes’” “Respectfully.” The basic idea here, despite all the verbiage, is simple: Become strong while appearing compassionate; persuade while seeming passive, and empathize your way to a sale.
No need to mince words: This is psychological training. There’s no doubt the typical trip to the Apple store is on another echelon compared to big box retail torture; Apple’s staff is bar none the most helpful and knowledgable of any large retail operation. A fundamental part of their job—sans sales quotas of any kind—is simply to make you happy. But you’re not at a spa. You’re at a store, where things are bought and sold. Your happiness is just a means to the cash register, and the manual reminds trainees of that: “Everyone in the Apple Store is in the business of selling.” Period.
Ah, the old adage, ABC - “Always Be Closing”.
Read much more at Gizmodo.