Apple To Revamp Genius Bar, Add 'Concierge' Service For Streamlined Support And Repairs

In addition to launching new products like its forthcoming Apple Watch, the Cupertino outfit is also keeping busy by making changes on the service side of the equation. Specifically, Apple is getting ready to revamp its retail store Genius Bar experience with an initiative called "The new Concierge," a fancy sounding and more efficient replacement for traditional walk-in appointments.

The way it works now is if you're iPhone or iPad is busted, you can walk into an Apple Retail Store and explain to an employee what's going on. The team member will then check you into the Genius Bar (you can also check in using the Apple Store app).

"During your session, your Genius will gather information about your system and answer your questions. If your product requires repair, the Genius will discuss repair options, explain any applicable charges, and prepare your equipment for repair," Apple explains. "Most sessions last about 15 minutes, but some may take longer, depending on the issue."

Apple Genius

The new concierge service changes things around a bit. Rather than have you wait around while Apple workers try and fix your issue, you'll be given a wait time based on your problem and in order of priority. According to 9to5Mac, that means a customer with a broken iPhone display will be placed higher up the queue than someone having trouble with a minor iCloud issue.

Once the new system is in place, you'll walk into an Apple Retail Store as before and explain your issue, which is inputted into an iPad app that uses a special algorithm to estimate a wait time. You'll then provide a phone number so that you can receive three text messaging updates as you go about your business.

Apple Genius Bar
Image Source: Flickr (Greg Andrews)

The first text message confirms the repair request and gives you an estimated wait time. A second text tells you to start heading back to the Apple Store, and the third text lets you know that the repair is finished or that an employee is ready to help with your issue, along with where they can be found in the store.

Apple's new approach is an attempt to reduce crowding and eliminate the annoyance of waiting around, as the new system allows Apple device owners to shop inside the mall and return to the store when it's ready to provide service.