There's an interview with two Apple Geniuses that I read recently at Yahoo.com
As most of you probably know, Genius is Apple's name for the support guys in the Apple Store who help customers with problems that they are having with their devices.
The whole interview is interesting, but there were a couple of things that really caught my attention:
Tim: When you are a Genius, you are sent out to Apple corporate for three weeks of training. The first week is basic troubleshooting. The second week is all customer interactions, how you should talk to them and listen to them. I think that’s the most important part. The third week is when you fix devices.
Greg: Training is much more focused on how to position information and ask questions. There’s lots of asking permission, being empathetic, and trying to align with people. So, you’re not just saying, “This is broken. It costs this much to repair.”
It is clear that Apple spends a lot of training time emphasizing how the Geniuses talk to customers. I think that's because they understand that while you can look up technical issues in a manual, communicating effectively is something that you have to know how to do. And if you don't Apple teaches you.
The second pair of comments that caught my eye was:
Greg: I find that one of the reasons people tend to like the Genius Bar is that we’re honest. If you don’t need a new OS upgrade, I’ll tell you.
Tim: Your job isn’t meant to make money. Your job is to make sure the customer leaves knowing they can have complete trust in Apple.
That last one in particular is pretty powerful. It is such a clear statement that the relationship with the customer is worth more than the value of a single transaction.