An Inside Look at Apple's Genius Training Manual

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Gizmodo reports that it has obtained a complete copy of Apple's training manual for new retail store Genius hires. The manual includes an overview of the two-week training new Geniuses go through, along with detailed information on how to handle customer service issues across a broad variety of scenarios.
The manual could easily serve as the Humanity 101 textbook for a robot university, but at Apple, it's an exhaustive manual to understanding customers and making them happy. Sales, it turns out, take a backseat to good vibes--almost the entire volume is dedicated to empathizing, consoling, cheering up, and correcting various Genius Bar confrontations. The assumption, it'd seem, is that a happy customer is a customer who will buy things. And no matter how much the Apple Store comes off as some kind of smiling likeminded computer commune, it's still a store above all--just one that puts an enormous amount of effort behind getting inside your head.
The report highlights several topics from the manual, including training on how to empathize with customers to build a relationship, recognizing body language and other cues to help understand each customer's emotions and guide the interaction to a resolution, and Apple's "banned words" along with the preferred terms that should be used to describe certain issues.




Apple's retail stores have long been highly regarded for their customer service, with staff providing significant levels of free support through the Genius Bar while sales associates training in helping customers find solutions to their problems assist with purchases. A number of Apple's customer service interaction technique have even been adopted from the Ritz-Carlton luxury hotel chain, itself famous for attention to customer service.

But as the chain has continued to grow there have been signs of strain on this outlook for retail, with staff reportedly being asked to do more with less amid claims that operational efficiency has risen in significance at the price of reduced customer and employee satisfaction.

Article Link: An Inside Look at Apple's Genius Training Manual
 

chrmjenkins

macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2007
5,322
154
CA
I see no mention of "spinning beach ball of death" under avoid or do not use, so I assume geniuses are free to use that. :)
 

ristlin

Guest
Mar 29, 2012
420
0
I used to work at a Disney theme park and the amount of effort the entire company takes to make sure every single person is happy has inadvertently altered my perception of good customer service. In my opinion, Apple Stores have passable customer service, barely a step up from Best Buy -- and in some cases, a step down thanks to the flood of customers.
 

D.T.

macrumors G3
Sep 15, 2011
9,438
7,573
Vilano Beach, FL
My battery issue in Mountain Lion is becoming a serious situation since the condition seems to be getting worse.


(Of course Apple does not respond to my repeated emails about this... :D )
 

Tuan X

macrumors newbie
Mar 4, 2012
9
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Brooklyn, NY
I'm surprised this is the first we're seeing of Apple's training manual. Their are so many Apple employees.. no one's leaked this until now?
 

chrmjenkins

macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2007
5,322
154
CA
Say "4th Generation Intel® Core™ processors", not Haswell.
Haswell that ends well.

I'm surprised this is the first we're seeing of Apple's training manual. Their are so many Apple employees.. no one's leaked this until now?
They may only have access to it in a controlled environment. Geniuses visit the Cupertino campus to train IIRC.
 

wimbledonpaul

macrumors newbie
Oct 2, 2008
7
0
Where to download it?

So where do we get our copy of this manual?

Might help to learn to count-argue with the so called geniuses
 

scwinsett

macrumors 6502a
Apr 21, 2010
663
345
Nashville, TN
I have yet to enter an Apple store that didn't make me hate humanity.
Every one I've been to is full of the snottiest pricks. The apple store is successful because of its excellent layout and of course the apple products, but they have a serious inability to hire intelligent people who aren't just bearded hipster tools
 

numlock

macrumors 68000
Mar 13, 2006
1,590
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[url=http://cdn.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogodarkd.png]Image[/url]


Gizmodo reports that it has obtained a complete copy of Apple's training manual for new retail store Genius hires. The manual includes an overview of the two-week training new Geniuses go through, along with detailed information on how to handle customer service issues across a broad variety of scenarios.The report highlights several topics from the manual, including training on how to empathize with customers to build a relationship, recognizing body language and other cues to help understand each customer's emotions and guide the interaction to a resolution, and Apple's "banned words" along with the preferred terms that should be used to describe certain issues.

Image


Apple's retail stores have long been highly regarded for their customer service, with staff providing significant levels of free support through the Genius Bar while sales associates training in helping customers find solutions to their problems assist with purchases. A number of Apple's customer service interaction technique have even been adopted from the Ritz-Carlton luxury hotel chain, itself famous for attention to customer service.

But as the chain has continued to grow there have been signs of strain on this outlook for retail, with staff reportedly being asked to do more with less amid claims that operational efficiency has risen in significance at the price of reduced customer and employee satisfaction.

Article Link: An Inside Look at Apple's Genius Training Manual
strange that apple gets inspired or even copies another companies techniques.
 

rbrian

macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2011
784
340
Aberdeen, Scotland
It would be nice if the training manual included some training on actually fixing the problem, sorry issue. I can reinstall mountain lion by myself, thanks, but I would rather figure out why the calendar sync isn't working. Thanks for clicking cancel and deleting my handbrake queue without even looking at it, genius. I'm delighted.
 

BMNB1tch

macrumors regular
Jan 20, 2009
135
0
if only BMW Porsche and Ferrari would take the same stance

oh look I've smashed my fancy toy

replace it right now

and no I dont have an appointment
 

CausticPuppy

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2012
1,483
18
strange that apple gets inspired or even copies another companies techniques.
Right, and that might be a problem if Ritz Carlton decides to start building phones, tablets, and computers.

Or if Apple decides to open a hotel chain.
 

TwoBytes

macrumors 68030
Jun 2, 2008
2,687
1,515
I'm touching my hand against my chest as I say; Gizmodo has so much hate for Apple after the 'incident'. Turns out this is the result :rolleyes:
 

FrizzleFryBen

macrumors 6502
Dec 14, 2009
401
6
Charlotte, NC
I thought this part of the giz article is brilliant.

"Fearless Feedback is Apple's term for institutionalized passive aggression. On page 58, it's described as an "open dialogue every day," with "positive intent." It's most certainly not "telling someone they are wrong." Except that it is—just prevented in a quintessentially Genius mode of masterful empathy and supercharged positivity aura."

Turns out my passive aggression is sought after!
 

Kwill

macrumors 68000
Mar 10, 2003
1,595
1
I once witnessed a "Genius" who evidently had not read the manual "handle" an upset customer who twice had his hard drive replaced within a few months and was very therefore unhappy with his laptop purchase.

The Genius told him that this thing happens all the time and he wished the customer could see how many hard drives come in for repairs each day. He said, Apple doesn't make the hard drives so it has nothing to do with the quality of the product.

That didn't sound very empathetic or consoling. The customer went from quietly requesting a refund to loudly expressing dissatisfaction with Apple policies as other customers looked on.

I distanced myself in anticipation of a Genius getting smacked with a laptop.