Beginning on the week of March 9th of this year, Apple will be deploying "Concierge," which is designed for customers who go into Apple stores with various device-related concerns.
Concierge will specifically make it easier for customers to sign up with Genius Bar, the service area present in Apple stores. Previously, Genius Bar employed a first-come, first-served basis in serving product issues. But with Concierge, Apple employees will now gather issues from users and input them directly into a constantly updated mobile app used on iPads. This mobile app will be go through a specific algorithm that generates an estimated wait time based on the other issues that are already logged at the Genius Bar. The more pressing the product issue is, the more it will be prioritized in the Genius Bar's queue.
According to a 9to5Mac report, Concierge is said to be the idea of Angela Ahrendts, the senior vice president of retail at Apple. In the 10 months since Ahrendts took this position, she has done some pretty significant streamlining to the company's retail division. And part of her job is making sure that the almost 450 Apple stores existing today are serving customers properly, especially those with concerns with their Apple devices.
Apple stores often find themselves with plenty of visitors who want to get their iPhones or their iPads fixed. What these customers often do is describe the issue to Apple employees and are then told to return later at a specific time. If the times are not that long, these customers often just stay inside the stores. Apple of course wants people to visit its stores to buy its products, not to stand around and wait for their products to get fixed.
With Concierge set in place, customers no longer have to wait inside the Apple store for an indefinite amount of time. Instead, they are asked to provide their mobile numbers. They are then sent a text message acknowledging that their issue has been dealt with and are provided an approximate wait time. When their devices get fixed, the customers received a second text message telling them that they can now return to the Apple store. A third text message will tell them which technician to approach.
Of course, even with this new system, some customers will still decide to wait inside the Apple store anyway. But Apple is confident that not all of them will do so, preferring instead to while away the time by going to other places nearby or have some coffee at the nearest Starbucks. Either way, Apple gets to maximize space in its stores.
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