How many retail stores have that big Apple logo? You know. The one that sits above the door, in front of tables packed with Apple products, before the Genius Bar? Apple has more than 500 retail stores worldwide and about 1-billion customers.
Do the math.
Thankfully, this isn’t how it works so the math is faulty, but it still adds up to 2-million customers per store, and sometimes it feels just about that many are milling around inside.
So, what’s the problem?
I went to an Apple store for a repair and was blown away by how disorganized it is now
That implies Apple Stores were organized before; as in, the last time Ben went there. With more than 500 stores dotting planet earth, it’s likely that experiences vary; some stores more organized than others.
Apple stores have abandoned traditional structures like checkout counters and the iconic “Genius Bar” in favor of roaming employees equipped with iPads.
The checkout counters disappeared many years ago, so that should tell you something about Ben’s last visit. And, no, the Genius Bar hasn’t disappeared in all Apple Stores; only a few of the larger and newer stores.
Some people need to get out more often.
The company’s retail leader, former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts, was in charge of the proposed solution: Get rid of the Genius Bar, cut the checkout counter, and empower every employee to help every customer directly.
The Genius Bar remains in most stores, the checkout counter disappeared before Ahrendts appeared, and no, Apple retail employees cannot help every customer directly, but they’re decent at finding someone who can.
So, Ben, not an iPhone customers (Android), but a Mac user, scheduled an appointment online. Easy enough, right?
When I walked into the Apple store for my repair, it was completely unclear where I was supposed to go.
Most of us just go to the nearest Apple store employee.
I looked around for any sort of sign that would direct my attention to a repair table or employees who could check me in for my scheduled appointment, knowing I would find none.
Then why did you look around?
Such signs are not part of Apple’s retail store experience and have not been for many, many years.
Apple stores have never been big on signage, but the flow of the store usually directed customers naturally toward what they wanted.
How is that even possible?
After walking around for a few minutes looking like an idiot (and feeling like an idiot — I write about technology for a living!), I gave in o (sic) frustration and interrupted two employees who were talking so that I could move on with my life.
Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?
The help I received was great, I’m glad that Apple has a store across the street that I can easily go to if I need help with Apple products.
I sense that the actual experience was different than the headline implied.
Here’s the deal from someone who lives and works within easy walking distance of an Apple Store.
One can write about any experience and create any perspective on that experience and keep it far from reality, as Gilbert did in his cute little hit piece. Name a better place to get help for any product you can carry than an Apple Store. No, they’re not perfect, and they suffer somewhat from success, but they do work well– Gilbert even agreed to that.