Thursday, August 04, 2011

An N-of-8 list of Apple Store brand experience controls

When you enter an Apple Store, you probably don't realize just how meticulously engineered your entire experience is, from walk-in, to check-out.

A new report from The Wall Street Journal reveals just how much planning goes into shaping your time in the store, from what employees are and aren't allowed to say, to the kind of cable used to keep the laptops locked to the tables.

Here are 8 of the more surprising details:
  1. Apple's sales per square foot are now $4,406 -- higher than luxury jewelry retailer Tiffany's and Co. 
  2. More people visit Apple Stores in a quarter than visit the four biggest Disney theme parks. 
  3. In-store technicians are asked to deal with emotional customers by using "simple reassurances" that they are listening, like, "Uh-huh" and "I understand."
  4. Employees at the Genius Bar are asked to say "as it turns out" instead of "unfortunately," for a more positive spin on their bad news.
  5. Genius appointments are routinely triple booked, so that they are extremely busy much of the time.  
  6. Employees are forbidden from correcting customer mispronunciations, because it would make them feel "patronized."
  7. Apple's retail philosophy is described by the acronym A.P.P.L.E. --"Approach customers with a personalized warm welcome," "Probe politely to understand all the customer's needs," "Present a solution for the customer to take home today," "Listen for and resolve any issues or
    concerns," and "End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return." 
  8. Employees who are six minutes late three times in six months may be fired.

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