Simple does work – another good example of how to do great service

Apple have done it again.  A nice post from Cult of Mac on plans by Apple to improve their Genius Bar services… 

Very simple really – change the tables to get more customers in.  I don’t doubt they’ll also bring in more Genius staff to help.  Bigger tables with more customers and the same number of staff won’t work – and Apple know that.  See my earlier blog post – “How simply should it be?” – that talks about keeping things simple at Apple and it’s part of the culture there and it works.  Great services, great technology, great products and the rest.

This table layout change is another great example of this approach.  It’s easy to do, very simple and won’t cost much, but the impact on the customers will be huge and very positive – more great service.  The Apple Store at the Bentalls Centre in Kingston has done something similar recently but expanded their store at the same time – clearly not always an option.  But they’ve now got more tables, with quite a few of these new long ones, lots more staff and the kids’ tables.  These stores where they’re testing the new layouts minus the kids’ tables, should think again.  The kids love them and they work.  Kids are kept quiet, so parents can browse and interact with the Genius staff more (and yes ultimately buy more Apple goodies) and the kids are playing with great apps on the iPads so very quickly learn to love iPads and Apple and become little fan people in their own right.  Genius!  Getting the next generation into good service from Apple – now that’s long term investment planning at its best.

The challenge – as the Cult of Mac post rightly points out – is providing this improved great service when space is a premium.  How do they do it?  I’ll tell you how – as they’ve done in Kingston here, have less space geared to selling products, as bizarre as that sounds and more geared towards service.  It works.  People coming into Apple shops have a good idea what the products are and want to see and play with them – the big ones (like iPads and iPhones and iMac and MacBookAirs).  Not so much the accessories that take up lots of space.

Does this approach work for you?  Is it about service for retailers like Apple or do you prefer the PC World, Curry’s type approach of products, products, products everywhere and hardly any staff who’ll stop and listen?

On a side note, what do you call more than one (Apple) Genius?  Genius’s?  Geni-i? Guru’s?  One to Google…

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