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Apple revamps its stores struggling to cope with the company's success

By midian182 · 8 replies
Nov 20, 2017
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  1. There are over 85 million iPhone users in the United States, and while that’s a figure Apple will doubtlessly be pleased with, the company is starting to become a victim of its own success. When it comes to its famous stores and the ‘Geniuses’ that work there, Cupertino is struggling to cope with the ever-increasing number of customers.

    Apple’s Genius Bar customer support system is straining under the weight of store visitors and performance expectations, reports Business Insider, with the incredibly busy Christmas season proving to be one of the most difficult times of the year for staff.

    "The customer service model is about ready to pop," said one worker. "It's turning into a reality that the system Apple has in place is not able to keep up with the volume of people and demand.”

    Apple retail employees are facing increased pressure as they try to get customers “in and out as fast as possible” and the number of people they help each day is tracked. The fact some people who purchased their handsets through wireless carriers are using Apple Stores to fix their iPhones is exacerbating the situation.

    But Apple is trying to reduce the stress on its staff through a new store design, which includes larger spaces, balconies, and leather seating balls. More room and waiting areas for customers will help, but one of the biggest improvements came via the introduction of the Technical Expert role last year. This person can perform iPhone repairs and replacements and is better placed to deal with customers who walk in without appointments.

    The Genius Bar itself is also being reimagined as the Genius Grove, which removes the traditional help desk and lets customers “get support working side-by-side with Geniuses under the comfortable canopy of local trees in the heart of [a] store.”

    As more people buy their smartphones online, Apple needs to keep offering something extra if it wants to entice consumers into their retail outlets. Free photography lessons may be compelling, but the hope that their iPhone problem will be quickly fixed is the reason behind many owners' visits. Just how much the revamp will ease the pressure remains to be seen, but at least the company has acknowledged that something needed to be done.

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  2. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,579   +249

    I had to pick out one sentence from this article....

    Were we expecting the wireless carriers to fix the iPhones? lmao
     
    Reehahs likes this.
  3. trparky

    trparky TS Addict Posts: 243   +114

    The wireless carriers can't fix their own branded devices, how do you expect them to fix iPhones? Most wireless carriers in the US hand you off to Assurion which I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy, they suck in so many ways I can't even begin to explain.
     
    Reehahs likes this.
  4. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,514   +680

    Considering the volume of people they process, Apple actually does a pretty good job in their stores... If you book an appointment ahead of time (which is fine as long as it's not an emergency "I dropped my phone"), you simply walk in, tell a "Genius" your name and you generally receive help within a few minutes at most.

    I've walked into Radio Shack (which now, ironically, no longer exists in Canada), and despite seeing maybe 3 customers in the store, had to wait 10-15 minutes just to return a faulty router...
     
    Reehahs and Theinsanegamer like this.
  5. senketsu

    senketsu TS Addict Posts: 235   +139

    "The customer service model is about ready to pop," said one worker. "It's turning into a reality that the system Apple has in place is not able to keep up with the volume of people and demand.” Apple retail employees are facing increased pressure as they try to get customers “in and out as fast as possible” and the number of people they help each day is tracked."
    In the past companies bit the bullet and hired lots of staff, with the risk that part of the time they might be idle, while today every single service employee is timed to the fraction of a second on every aspect of their performance and how much they sell and the people 'upstairs' see these numbers and want to drive them perpetually better, which is impossible, but while this plays out the employee that sees the customer face to face is under ever increasing pressure to make customers happy and go away as fast as possible whilst also selling them something and these two metrics of performance are expected to improve, improve and improve some more while the reality is there are limits.
    People don't want to wait or have to rely exclusively on appointments, get rushed through, be pitched for stuff they don't want or need to buy and the employee stress rises to high levels. It's not a good model.
     
  6. bmw95

    bmw95 TS Maniac Posts: 194   +156

    Basically the result of management going full wh*** mode on data analytics. My Dad works at a small credit union and the company upper management decided a good way to save on costs was to restrict how much toilet paper each branch would get per month . . .
     
    senketsu likes this.
  7. senketsu

    senketsu TS Addict Posts: 235   +139

    and single ply too no doubt, it's cheaper. IMHO there should be a ban on the production and sale of one ply toilet paper (serious)
     
    Squid Surprise and bmw95 like this.
  8. bmw95

    bmw95 TS Maniac Posts: 194   +156

    lol yeah xD. "I'm sorry but clean bums are not a part of our business model. Get working!"
     
  9. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,579   +249

    Wow. I hope he/they realize quickly this is not the way to get people to be productive, and will actually have a negative impact on employee performance that is not worth it. I say productive because unproductive people cost the company more money than productive ones. (obviously) You could maybe be more frugal with paperclips, staples, other office supplies, but just leave the toiletries out of the equation.
     

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