Why Genius Bar appointments always seem to start late
Mike Wuerthele | Aug 19, 2022
In a long and detailed thread, an ex-Apple retail employee who helped launch Apple’s in-store Concierge system details exactly why and how appointments made for support at in-store Genius Bars never seem to start on time.
In a very long Twitter thread, user “Dr. Bread Pitt” details the Concierge system, the forces surrounding the Genius Bar, and how the system can break down under the strain of retail guest responses and other factors. First and foremost, Apple appears to over-book Genius Bar appointments, assuming up to 40% of service-seekers won’t show up for the appointment.
This is further compounded by employee sick calls, and emergencies. Additionally, what’s needed by the customer may be misdiagnosed by time, where an appointment that needs more time may be misfiled in Apple’s Concierge system, leading to further delays.
And, on top of all this, the twitter thread details the need for Genius Bar employees to “multitask.” Specifically, they are being asked to build business leads, sell AppleCare, sell iPhones, and discuss Apple’s educational offerings as well.
Human errors are also a problem as well. A customer can approach an Apple employee in the store who is often “surrounded and stressed out” that they are there for the appointment, and they may not be checked in properly — or at all.
This compounds the problem, and causes not just their own wait time to be extended, but causes problems with the schedule as a whole when a manager has to expedite service for the customer.
For employees, he lays out some suggestions for the Concierge system as well. Employees can long-press on a button to tell the system that an appointment couldn’t be offered for a customer for many reasons. This in turn sends feedback to Apple telling them that the system couldn’t meet demand.
The thread details what he’d like to see from customers as well. Specifically, how they should interact with employees at the store, or phone support.
“Many times they are just trying to do the best they can with limited resources and overwhelming amounts of waiting customers,” the thread says. “The system they use is made to just get people in, it’s not as efficient at keeping it organized.”
Furthermore, he reiterates that not everybody in the company has every solution for a customer. So, as always in retail, patience is a must.
“So please be patient, please understand the challenges the technicians face, please make the right types of appointments, please ignore Tik Tok videos, please go online when you can and please remember that these people all just want to help you as soon as they can” concludes the thread.
While not addressed in the thread, there are also steps that a user should take before arriving. Your devices should be prepared for the trip, if possible.
When you arrive, the employees will ask you whether you’ve got backups, whether you have your Apple ID details, whether you’ve unpaired the Watch, and so on. All the way through they are hoping you’ll say yes because otherwise this is going to take a long time — and extend waits in the store
Assuming you’re prepared with backups, not only will you make their job easier, you’ll get out of there faster. You’ll get out of there knowing that no matter what happens, your data is both safe and is going to be immediately available for you to get back to work.