Apple's Secret Genius Training Manual, Is It a Reference for All Course Designers and Developers?

Uncategorized Feb 17, 2018

There are so many ways in which Apple has brought change into our world. They've dented the universe for sure. If only our personal universe. From their devices to their retail store experiences they have set the benchmark for many others to follow.

The Genius Bar is a tech support station located inside all but one of Apple's retail stores transforming the technical support for customers to concierge-style support for Apple products. These bars have often been referred as the "heart and soul of our stores" by Ron Johnson, the former Senior Vice President for Retail.

There are many organisations around the world who are committed to creating the greatest customer experience with Apple being a hot contender for the number one brand to visit and experience for benchmarking.

So it's interesting to see 'secret' or 'leaked'  material finds its way onto the Internet where  we can get a deeper understanding of how Apple goes about its training before they can be let loose on the public.

Such a leaked article was posted on the site  Gizmodo. The title  How To Be a Genius: This is Apple’s Secret Employee Training Manual. Apple training manual a guide for course designers and developers

With a deep insight in to the running of Apple and how its employees were trained was indeed quite extraordinary! Even the title of the post leaves little to the imagination and coaxes us to read on.

This is a useful reference document for all course designers and developers in the pursuit of helping their clients achieve great customer experiences. It is a reminder to the reader that absolutely nothing in the experience a customer receives when he/she walks into any of its stores is left to chance.

Every step of the customer journey is noted and worked on back in the customer service department and the future of their training and development. Interestingly  the Apple Store's  training manual for Apple Geniuses spends  as much time on communication as it does on process and technical knowledge.

According to Gizmodo, “Selling is a science, summed up with 5  letters:

  • Approach customers with a personalized, warm welcome.
  • Probe politely to understand the customer’s needs (ask closed and open-ended questions).
  • Present a solution for the customer to take home today.
  • Listen for and resolve any issues or concerns.
  • End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return.

This YouTube video shows some more details on what customers can expect in an Apple Store.


Peer Feedback Encouraged

Feedback is the breakfast of champions. But what about when it's delivered by your co-worker based on a set protocol?

Gizmodo quotes the following sample conversation from the training manual as an example of fearless feedback:

Genius 1 -“Hi, fellow Genius. I overheard your conversation with your customer during the last interaction and I have some feedback if you have a moment. Is this a good time?”

Genius 2 - “Yes, this is a good time.”

Genius 1 - “You did a great job resolving the customer’s iPhone issue. I was concerned with how quickly you spoke to the customer. It seemed like you were rushing through the interaction, and the customer had additional questions.”

We don't get to learn what Genius 2's response was but what do you think the options might have been? Answer in the comments area below.

Not Everything in Apple is Rosy

As you'd expect there always a few rotten apples in every barrel (pun intended). If you continue to read the Gizmodo article you'll see a link to an additional post about how some Apple employees behave behind the scenes. Here's the link to 'Confessions from the Most Corrupt Apple Store in America!'

Whether you are an airline,  hotel, cruise line company, automobile industry, restaurant, retailer, tech company, hospital, government services agency, and on and on…you need to constantly keep on top of your training, and although the Gizmodo article expresses some' skepticism' about these techniques, the article reaches the conclusion that 'great'  training works! Agreed.

But business leadership is even more important to get right since without the right leadership, culture suffers and then you end up with issues as face in the 'Confessions from the Most Corrupt Apple Store in America.'

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If you are embarking upon improving your customer experience and need to develop your own training materials or unique courses to develop service skills in your organisation, then call us today on 0845 548 0228 for an informal chat or email us on [email protected] or see our ready for use training pack's here.

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