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.” InGenius 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.