Want to function like a perfect Apple Genius Bar employee?
On Tuesday, Gizmodo made that possibility considerably easier when it published leaked portions of Apple's "Genius Training Student Workbook," a manual that teaches, in painstaking detail, how to walk, talk and emote like a Genius.
The leaked book, which Gizmodo reports is the company's most up-to-date version, emphasizes making the customer feel like he or she is right, while simultaneously guiding him or her toward a final sale. Buzzwords, do's and dont's, customer body language and the appropriate way to deliver peer feedback are all exhaustively catalogued.
Empathy is emphasized in manual, which encourages Geniuses to "walk a mile in someone else's shoes." This does not mean one apologizes, however: "Do not apologize for the business [or] the technology."
In addition, Apple suggests a host of phrases to substitute in negative or difficult situations.
Correcting a customer should be accomplished using the phrase, "turns out." In Genius world, computers do not crash, they "stop responding." A bug should only be referred to as an "issue" or a "situation." Also, contrary to popular opinion, Apple products do not get hot, they merely get "warm."
Prospective Genius employees learn these tricks and more during a 14-day regiment that is scheduled down to the half hour. Classes such as "The Power of Empathy" and "Open and Closed Questions" help mold employees into psychological ninjas with superior technical and sales skills. (The manual includes the reminder: "Everyone in the Apple Store is in the business of selling.")
The training might be intense, but the strategy seems to be working for the tech giant, which posted a quarterly revenue of $35 billion and quarterly net profit of $8.8 billion, or $9.32 per diluted share, for its fiscal 2012 third quarter, according to its website.
Genius Bar amenities may well be an important piece of the revenue picture. According to TechCrunch, a recent survey shows nine out of every 10 Apple product owners are "somewhat" or "much more likely" to make another purchase following their tech-support experience. The survey, conducted by NPD Group, also notes that of the 40 percent of Apple owners who used a Genius Bar's services, 90 percent walked away feeling extremely or very satisfied.
Gizmodo's article coincides with recent speculation that possible changes -- including cut hours and even layoffs -- might be on the horizon at Apple. Senior Vice President John Browett started the rumors earlier this year after temporary staffing changes were made at some Apple stores, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. Apple has since reversed the changes, with Kristin Huguet, a spokesperson for Apple calling the changes in policy "a mistake" that had been rectified.
Harder to sweep under the rug was another Gizmodo piece detailing the "most corrupt Apple Store." Speaking anonymously, two ex-employees dished about mismanagement and bad business practices at the store, including Geniuses who erase the hard drives of customers who "are assholes," and a manager who "heavily discounted computers to local plastic surgeons" in order to receive a stomach stapling procedure.