Apple’s Genius Bar is about to get a whole lot smarter and even faster with a big makeover.
Starting from March 9, Apple will begin to roll out ‘Concierge,’ a new way for customers who walk into its stores with products issues to sign up with the in-store service area Genius Bar, 9to5Mac is reporting, citing people who claim to have knowledge of Apple’s plans. For instance, A broken iPhone screen would likely be given higher priority over someone who need help connecting to iCloud. Employees will input the customer’s issue and the system will do the rest.
The new and smarter system is apparently the idea of Apple retail head (and former Burberry CEO) Angela Ahrendts. According to the 9to5 Mac’s sources, the new system will act more like restaurant reservations. The service will send updates to the customer through text message, first to confirm the request and give the wait time, followed by another text close to the appointment time and a final text to notify users where to go in-store. According to the sources, the changes should help reduce congestion in often busy Apple stores, and (hopefully) help the staff deal with customers more efficiently.
9to5Mac reports that the new Genius Bar system will be tested exclusively in the U.S and the text message system will apply only to in-store walk-ins. Online appointments will apparently remain unchanged.
An overhaul of the handling of drop-ins at the Genius Bar could be crucial to Apple maximizing floor space for products and consumers, rather than for those waiting for their iPhone to be fixed. With Concierge, Apple is addressing just a portion of the Genius Bar appointments. According to 9to5Mac’s sources, those who log their issues online to set up an appointment at the Genius Bar will not see that system changed for now.
A spokeswoman for Apple declined to comment on the new Genius Bar initiative.