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Genius Bars: \"the soul\" of Apple\'s retail stores

updated 09:45 pm EST, Wed January 26, 2005

NYT looks at Genius Bars

Apple's Genius Bars are the , according to Apple VP Ron Johnson. A New York Times article discusses the "increasingly rare" free face-to-face technical support phenomenon, the Geniuses themselves, the evolution of the concept, and its inspiration: "The concept of a bar came to Mr. Johnson one night when he was thinking about the kind of environment Apple wanted to create in its stores. He said he was inspired by Four Seasons, the Ritz-Carlton and other hotels where service is paramount. 'We believed you had to bring the people dimension back into retail,' said Mr. Johnson, who joined Apple five years ago after 15 years at Target. 'We thought, What about giving tech support that's as welcoming as the bar at the Ritz?'"




by MacNN Staff

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  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Filling the gaps...

    ...would seem essential - the Mac has many software 'holes' filled by shareware or alternative strategies/methods and relatively undefined in non-technical onscreen help that having a 'genius' available to quickly offer a workaround may be critical to sales 'objections'...

    'Nuts & bolts' accounting & contact management specifically come to mind...

  1. Glasspusher

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    workin' cheap

    Yeah, but what I heard, those Geniuses are getting paid pretty sucky wages. They should be compensated a bit better for being the soul!

  1. macton

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    not too cheap

    My friend is a Genius in a California store and he makes a little over 52k year. Is that such a bad deal?

  1. Arcady

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    not cheap enough

    Most of these so-called genuises don't seem to know much, other than how to send your computer in for repair. Try asking a technical question, and you will probably get a blank stare. I asked about connecting via VPN, and the guy says he will look up something. I caught him googling "VPN" for an answer... lame.

  1. srrojo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Whatever, Apple.

    Apple Store "Genius" (note quotes) is to Best Buy "Geek Squad".. These guys are just stuffed shirts with a name sans certification -- and a free lunch for Apple.

    If this "Geek Squad" really is the 'soul' of Apple, then Apple is form sans substance.

    Of course, this quotable quote came from an exec, who, really is nothing more than investor relations. 90% of what comes out of execs is filler or calculated to maximize value without divulging anything of true substance.

    Now Apple dropping their suit against Nick DePlume, -that- would be something of substance. This is mere filler.

  1. LordJohnWhorfin

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    52K/year

    In California that's below the poverty threshold I believe.

  1. PookJP

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Hooray to geniuses.

    They've helped me on many-an-occasion. If nothing else, I appreciate the face-to-face accessibility when something goes awry and the ease of sending my computer off for repairs. Beyond that, the team at The Grove are friendly and informed.

  1. dwood

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: Whatever, Apple

    Have you ever been to a store, the bar is almost always crowded and sans your thinking, a lot of the mac geniuses actually know what they are talking about, of course noone can know everything about everything. And that "exec" offering "filler"... umm ya he's kind of head of Apple's Retail division, and prolly the main reason why retail is doing as well as it is. You can sit hear and pretend you're better then everyone, we'll let you have your 15 minutes.

  1. Toyin

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Their real purpose

    Some geniuses can handle real difficult tech questions (Like setting up VPN on OSX), but most are more effective with 95% of Mac users who are clueless about basic issues. They're NOT there to service the population that lives and breathes MacNN or similar sites. I would have definitely looked in the Networking forum or on the web for information about setting up VPN on OSX. I wouldn't make a trip to an Apple store just for that.

    If I happen to be in an Apple store I'll often ask the genius a question. They usually don't know the answer and it doesn't bother me because it's usually an uber-geek question.

  1. Glasspusher

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    52K

    Macton and others,
    52K is a lot better than I heard they were making. Good to hear! Thanks. I heard they were getting ~25K a year. I would have taken 52K a year when I was in college, that's for sure!

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