Apple aims to improve Genius Bars with new ‘Concierge’ system

“Apple will soon make a significant change to retail store Genius Bar appointments to improve the customer experience, according to several sources briefed on the upcoming shift,” Mark Gurman reports for 9to5Mac.

“During the week of March 9th, Apple’s United States stores will launch a new initiative called ‘The new Concierge’ that replaces traditional walk-in Genius Bar appointments,” Gurman reports. “This new program, spearheaded by Retail Senior Vice President Angela Ahrendts, moves away from the classic appointment model. Instead, a customer describes the issue to an Apple Store employee, who inputs the issue into an updated iPad application. Using a special algorithm, the application provides the customer a wait time based on issue priorities.”

Gurman reports, “Multiple Apple employees have called the new feature one of the most significant changes to Apple Store operations in several years, as it allows customers to request support on the spot, shop elsewhere inside of the mall, and then return when the store is ready to service them.”

Read more in the full article here.


    1. Yeah. Hard to see lugging your 27″ iMac around the mall while you waited for your number to come up. (We all recognize this is just a tech-enhanced version of the “take a number” system you use at the DMV or corner deli.)

    2. A combination of the 2 would be nice. Our Apple Store used to do just that. So you could leave heavy stuff there and go shop until your appointment came up. Now you have to make a pre-arranged appointment on line. I miss walking in and asking for an appointment, being told “Come back in 45 min” or whatever and meet with a Genius. Both ways are useful. Though of course walk-ins would have to take a back seat to those who planned ahead, which I think is how it used to be.

  1. Yikes, if this new “system” allows or promotes line jumping because of the nature of your problem it will lead to many tense situations in stores as someone just breezes to the head of the line because their “need” is considered more serious!

  2. this will never work. its sounding like those with the easiest fixes go to the head of the line. I don’t think so. I hated to use the genius bar as it was – so I go to Mikes tech shop in NYC. they are fast and friendly

    1. Many of us don’t live that close to a someone who can repair a Mac, and if you’re in warranty, you have to go to Apple. I have used the Genius Bar in stores in Deer Park and Schaumburg and have gotten good service in both places. The main problem I have is that it’s SO noisy in the store the Genius and I end up shouting at each other to make ourselves heard.

      1. I haven’t had to use the Genius bar, but the stores are loud — I agree with you on that. Some curtains or carpet would go a long way. I get the feeling that Apple is trying to recreate a Soho loft, but unfortunately, the usability of the space is suffering.

  3. What a great idea!

    Instead of making an appointment and timing my trip to the Apple Store, I can drive for a half hour, explain my problem, then cool my heels in a mall I don’t want to be in while hoping nobody comes in with a problem evaluated more serious than mine.

    I hope this idea dies the sudden, painful death it deserves.

  4. Folks – can you read? The new system “replaces traditional walk-in Genius Bar appointments.” I saw nothing about replacing the ability to get a specific appointment time in advance. Believe it or not, people do just show up at an Apple Store and ask for an appointment. Now they will be given better information as to when that appointment will occur. Looks like a total upgrade to me with no downside.

      1. “…a PR fumble by Apple…”?

        FOR letting a blogger post a rumor of something Apple has yet to officially launch, or even officially announce that they are going to announce it at all?

        But then again, it probably wouldn’t matter much for most here.

  5. I’m open to Apple trying to improve customer experience in the stores. Let them try it out and see how it works. Maybe one size won’t fit all. It’s easy to criticize a rumor. I would like to see how it works before getting all cranked up.

  6. HUH? First of all, it’s not clear whether we can still make Genius Bar appointments. If so, what good are they if we must then ask a “concierge” to figure out with his nifty little “algorithm” what time we will actually be able to talk to a genius? Having made an appointment, we are supposed to just “go shopping” while we wait? This sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.

  7. I make a Genius Bar appointment on my iPhone. When I show up I never have to wait more than 15-20 minutes to be seen. And I never feel rushed. I’m seen till my problem is solved completely to my satisfaction.

    So where in this scenario is there any room for improvement?

    If she screws around with the a FUNDAMENTAL Apple experience like Ron Johnson did at JCPenney, I will be one VERY pissed off, VERY loyal Apple customer/evangelist.

  8. What is the problem this is supposed to solve?

    Besides “concierge” is only a little less pretentious than “Genius.”

    Give this a try, but don’t trash the appointments system. It works, so why break it?

  9. I don’t think they are scrapping the online appointment system. I think they’re just adding this as an alternative. A lot of people show up without an appointment, and there’s no real good way to handle them right now. Apple is trying to fix that.

  10. First of all, MacDailyNews, a rumor site post another rumor’s site saying that, “…

    • During the week of March 9th, Apple’s United States stores WILL LAUNCH* a new initiative called ‘The new Concierge’ that…

    • REPLACES† traditional walk-in Genius Bar appointments,” and

    • This new program, spearheaded by Retail Senior Vice President Angela Ahrendts, MOVES AWAY** from the classic appointment model.

    * RUMOR – until APPLE officially announces it
    † UNTRUE – even the rumor says it only pertains to ‘walk-in’ appointments
    ** UNTRUE – if anything it enhances the current ‘walk-in’ appointment procedure, NOT BREAK the appointment process.

  11. I would like to see Apple add small private meeting areas next to the Genius Bar area. Sometimes a complex problem would benefit greatly from being isolated from the noise and chaos of the main floor. And sometimes you are working with more sensitive information – credit cards, passwords, etc. – that should not be discussed publicly.

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