MacRumors is reporting that Apple is retooling the Genius Bar. Apple is calling it a "giant leap forward" for the Family Room concept that has come to embrace both the Genius Bar itself and the roving specialists who help customers throughout Apple's retail stores.
These changes are designed to increase customer access and satisfaction in the Family Room by employing an "all hands on deck" approach for quick response to customer demand.
The tactic being employed include:
Active queue management: Retail stores will monitor customer demand for the Genius Bar from both reservations and walk-ins, reassigning qualified employees from other areas of the store as needed to open up new queues to ensure that staffing meets demand. Apple's goal is for all walk-in Genius Bar customers to be served within 30 minutes while obviously still meeting commitments for customers who have made reservations.
Multitasking: Genius Bar technicians are being asked to serve multiple support customers at one time, using downtime during appointments such as during reboots or while diagnostic tests are running to assist another customer. Support staff are encouraged to use reservation notes left by customers in the Concierge system to help match customers with similar issues or to slip in a customer expected to need only a quick fix while a more complicated diagnosis is underway.
Overnight repairs: Retail stores are expected to place a renewed focus on completing overnight repairs, but somewhat at the expense of "While You Wait" repairs. While Genius Bar technicians will still be able to offer "While You Wait" repairs to customers if support demand is low, the focus will be on moving repairs to night time shifts where Geniuses can focus on the tasks at hand and have customers' machines ready for pick-up first thing the following morning. Retail stores will gauge the number of repairs to be completed on a given day and schedule Geniuses to stay after store closing (up until a limit of midnight) to conduct repairs on machines brought in that day. Any repairs unable to be completed with the scheduled time and staffing after closing will be finished up by Geniuses arriving before store opening the following morning.
Apple's commitment to and expansion of the Genius Bar concept is heartening. Hopefully next time you want to exchange a pair of ear buds you won't have to make an appointment!
That was just stupid.
I think to Apple's credit they see the future as a better management of time. As a customer that is what we want. We know issues happen, things break, just don't waste our time.