Apple Retail is reportedly in the process of overhauling its Genius Bar experience. In a bid to better serve customers, starting from the week of March 9, a new initiative dubbed "Concierge" will be rolled out to replace walk-in appointments. The program involves Apple Store employees using an algorithm-driven iPad app to provide priority-assessed wait times for a customer's query. According to 9to5Mac:
The customer then provides a phone number, which Apple uses to send three text messages with wait time updates:
- An initial text message confirming the Genius Bar request and providing the wait time
- A text message telling the customer to start heading back to the Apple Store
- A final text message telling the customer that their technician is ready to help and where they can be located in the store
Online bookings are said to remain the same.
The program is reportedly being spearheaded by senior vice president of retail and online stores Angela Ahrendts, who has introduced several changes since joining Apple last year. These including an increased focus on China, new measures to safeguard the upcoming Apple Watch Edition smartwatches within retail stores, as well as retooling the retail experience to aimed at "surprising and delighting" customers.
The Concierge program, however, would be one of the most significant changes, would allow store employees as well as customers to manage their time better.