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APPLE RETAIL STORE
ANKIT VASHISHT KARAN ARORA VAIBHAV KAPOOR
specifically to help shape a retail strategy. who would shape such Apple Store fundamentals as the Genius Bar and scripted customer service approach before announcing his departure Tuesday for the CEO job at JC Penny. Yet firms that have tried to copy these features like Best Buy [BBY] (which has copied the Geek Squad) and Microsoft [MSFT] (which opened its first branded store in 2009 with some of Apple‟s architectural and customer-service ideas). but obvious to any observer of radical management: Stop Trying to Make Money Most firms see themselves in business to make money. onto the Apple board in 1999." Drexler pushed for the hire of Ron Johnson. Many of the principles will be counter-intuitive to any manager steeped in traditional management practices or retail.000) and clever marketing (the Steve Jobs factor). Apple built a "prototype store" in a Cupertino. a carefree and casual atmosphere). Calif. then-president of the Gap. Apple has grasped . This can lead analysts to throw up their hands and declare that “it‟s just magic!”. i. a recording of a store meeting and interviews with more than a dozen current and former employees. Apple‟s success is based on deeper principles that are neatly reflected in an interesting article by Yukari Iwatani Kane and Ian Sherr in the Wall Street Journal (Secrets From Apple’s Genius Bar). The Paradoxical Principles Behind Apple’s Success In reality. success that is inexplicable by any rational process. have had less success. Virg. Most commentators dwell on the obvious but superficial features of Apple‟s success including: the good design (airy interiors and attractive lighting. That‟s “the bottom line”—the primary goal of management. The article draws on confidential training manuals. a time when big box computer retailers refused to stock its Mac computers due to the weakness of the Apple brand. Apple’s Success Formula. then a Target executive. attractive products (strong demand for the products) and focus (a single brand with far fewer products) scale (only a few hundred stores compared to Best Buy‟s more than 4. Jobs brought Millard Drexler. and Glendale. By contrast.Origins of the Apple Store Apple CEO Steve Jobs decided to build Apple Stores as a defensive move in the late 1990s. So many Gap employees migrated to Apple's early retail team that they joked about working for "Gapple. Apple‟s goal is to delight its customers. Calif.e. warehouse and tested its retail concepts for a year before opening the first two Apple Stores in Tyson's Corner.
The goal of “delighting the customer” leads to radically different managerial behaviors from traditional retail. the cash register. “Your job is to understand all of your customers‟ needs—some of which they may not even realize they have. but rather to help customers solve problems. The fact that Apple recruits from its adoring fans obviously makes it easier for them spread the message of delight. “most retailers take a prototype and roll it out. To that end.. Kane and Sherr note that although there are no sales quotas. such as the second-generation iPad in March. –Continuous Innovation: Delighting customers requires continuous innovation. but few go to Apple‟s lengths in continuously improving every detail. president of industry group Retail Design Institute. Many retailers strive for good customer service and attractive store designs. not the goal. The sales people in Apple‟s stores “believe” in Apple and its products. until 2007. Kane and Sherr write: According to several employees and training manuals. When a new product is launched. The stores are for instance phasing out that ubiquitous but irritating feature of retail stores.” Apple by contrast “constantly evolves its stores‟ look and feel. With respect to store design. Apple operationalizes its “steps of service” in the simple acronym APPLE: . the sales staff at Apple start from where the customer is and what the customers problems might be. sales associates are taught an unusual sales philosophy: not to sell. It was about finding solutions for a customer and finding their pain points. Apple ends up making more money than it would if it set out to make money. “You were never trying to close a sale. by enabling sales people to complete transactions on mobile devices. employees cheer customers as they enter and exit the store: eliciting such behavior authentically is only possible if the sales staff really believe in what Apple is doing. Don’t Try to Sell One consequence is that employees are taught not to sell.” said Brian Dyches. depending on the store. By delighting the customer.that making money is the result of the firm‟s actions. –Operationalization of How to Delight Customers: Instead of starting with what Apple has to sell. who worked at an Apple store in Arlington. employees who don‟t sell what‟s expected are re-trained or moved to another position. Belief In the Goal of Delighting the Customer A firm cannot delight its customers unless the people who work in the firm believe in what it is doing.” said David Ambrose. 26 years old. Va.” one training manual says. employees receive no sales commissions and have no sales quotas.
–Loyalty: In return. which drives Apple‟s success. Probe politely to understand all the customer‟s needs. as well as their enthusiasm for Apple products. company on the Internet is fired. attractive products. That can be a couple of weeks or even longer. Recruits are drilled in classes that apply Apple‟s principles of customer service. Apple employees who are six minutes late in their shifts three times in six months may be let go. Listen for and resolve any issues or concerns. say several current and former Apple store employees. Bottom Line: Radically Different Management The obvious. technicians are forbidden from prematurely acknowledging widespread glitches and anyone caught writing about the Cupertino. superficial features of Apple‟s modus operandi—the good design.. . Calif. End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return –Attention to detail: Kane and Sherr note that Apple‟s control of the customer experience extends down to the minutest details. the focus. By contrast. provides little customer-service training and expects sales staff to learn on the job. Apple asks for extreme loyalty. –Recruiting and training the right people: Department store chain Nordstrom Inc. retail experts say many Apple stores are flooded with applicants.‟ etc. You can‟t delight customers if you are not there. for example. Once hired.. so there are rigid deadlines for retail employees. Back on the sales floor. The store‟s confidential training manual tells in-store technicians exactly what to say to customers it describes as emotional: “Listen and limit your responses to simple reassurances that you are doing so. new hires must shadow more experienced colleagues and aren‟t allowed to interact with customers on their own until they‟re deemed ready. the limited scale and the clever marketing—are certainly part of the Apple story. Kane and Sherr note: Working for an Apple store can be a competitive process usually requiring at least two rounds of interviews. But they would mean little without the radically different management philosophy. according to current and former employees.” –Discipline: Just as there are rigid deadlines in Apple‟s product development.Approach customers with a personalized warm welcome. Present a solution for the customer to take home today. „Uh-huh‟ „I understand. According to Kane and Sherr: Employees are ordered to not discuss rumors about products. Applicants are questioned about their leadership and problem-solving skills. employees are trained extensively. While most retailers have to seek out staff.
or iPod shuffle and apple teach you how to import music.The fact that the principles are counter-intuitive to any manager steeped in traditional management practices or retail commerce indicates that any firm seeking to emulate Apple‟s success will have re-train their managers in radically different ways of thinking. Apple also teach you some tips and tricks. iPad Apple set up your email and help you personalize your new iPad. and help you discover and download some great apps from the Mac App Store. Then apple help you shop the App Store and download apps that match your interests. Workshops To get to know your new Apple product even better. join us at the Apple Retail Store for free workshops created for new owners just like you. and sync content from iTunes. iPhone Apple transfer your contacts and set up your email. Buy an iPod classic. speaking and acting in the workplace. you‟ll learn all the basics — from changing settings and preferences to downloading new apps — and come . iPod nano. calendar. set up Find My iPad. install any software you purchased. And apple set up your email. create playlists. and Find My iPhone. In our Getting Started workshops. iPod Buy an iPod touch and apple set up your email and help you download apps and games from the App Store. Personal setup Here‟s some of what Apple cover during your Personal Setup session: Mac Apple show you some of the key features of your new Mac. and help you find and download the perfect apps.
It doesn‟t matter if you‟ve just bought your first Mac or you‟ve been using one for years. or somewhere in betappleen. Just drop off your old computer — Mac or PC — and apple transfer your files. So whether you‟re brand-new to a Mac. Phone Support If you have questions and you‟d like to speak to someone on the phone. Apple can even call you at your convenience. install any new Apple software you‟ve purchased. One to One Get the most out of your Mac.away with tips and tricks. The most knowledgeable Mac people in the world will transfer your files from your old computer. and get going on your Mac than with a One to One membership at the Apple Retail Store. Then come to Meet Your Mac in our store. One to One will help take your skills to the next level. a seasoned pro. teach you all the basics in face-to-face training sessions. There‟s no better way to get set up. So from the first time you turn it on. Get set up. our Apple Support team is here to help. get trained. . Your One to One membership will get you and your Mac set up and started out right. your Mac will be set up the way you like it. Calls are free for the first 90 days after you purchase your Apple product. and put it all in the right places. and apple show you where everything is and ansappler any questions. One to One costs just $99 for a full year and is available only at the time you purchase a Mac from the Apple Retail Store or the Apple Online Store. And our Going Further workshops will help you take your skills to the next level as you discover advanced techniques to help you get the most from your new product. and guide you through more advanced projects.
If you prefer to learn face-to-face. iPhone. and explore projects created by other members. filmmakers. iPod. you can get friendly. just sign up online for a Personal Projects session. They‟re taught by people who really know Apple products and are eager to share their knowledge with you. they have extensive knowledge of Apple products and can ansappler all your technical questions. expert advice at the Genius Bar in any Apple Retail Store. Personal Training Sessions offer an uninterrupted hour with a Trainer. Trainers provide guidance. You‟ll have a great time and learn new skills. iPad. Want to speak to a Genius? Make an appointment ahead of time to guarantee your space. on your own schedule.Get trained. So count on picking up plenty of tips and tricks. The Genius Bar is home to our resident Geniuses. Get going. Genius Bar When you have questions or need hands-on technical support for your Mac. support. As experts in all things Apple. You can also learn from anywhere. Your personalized One to One page lets you access hundreds of tutorials. If you prefer a small group setting. All of our workshops — including new hands-on workshops — are free. using your One to One appleb page. Geniuses can take care of everything from troubleshooting problems to actual repairs. and musicians will even find workshops on our poapplerful pro applications. Then drop by the Apple Store anytime during the two-hour time slot to get the help you need. At a workshop. iPod. or iPhone. or get restaurant directions on iPhone. mix a demo for your band. Trained by Apple. schedule and manage your appointments. One to One features three different ways to learn. Find out how to create instant slideshows in iPhoto. make a proposal pop. Apple TV. and creative inspiration. One to One Workshops are a unique opportunity for you and a few other members to work with a Trainer on special interest topics. Serious photographers. . you can learn the basics of the Mac. just ask — one of our Trainers will be available to show you how to keep your project moving forward. You can edit a film. If you need a larger block of time with a Trainer. Workshops Learn something new by taking a free workshop at an Apple Retail Store. rent movies using Apple TV. Be sure to sign up in advance to reserve a spot. In fact. Whenever you have a question. or create anything else you can dream up. or iPad.
Camera. spans three days and leads up to an Apple Camp Film Festival where campers debut their masterpieces. Apple set you up. Camp. Nothing beats Apple Camp for a fun summer activity for your kids. For Teachers Field Trip to the Apple Store Take your students — or your fellow teachers — on a Field Trip to an Apple Retail Store for an unforgettable learning experience. Apple offer the free workshops at Apple Retail Stores worldwide. held at the Apple Retail Store. sharing their achievements with parents. Business Every Apple Store has a Business Team committed to helping you find the perfect solution — from selecting the right hardware to leading customized training programs for you and your employees. Apple set up your new Apple products. kids ages 8-12 will learn the ins and outs of iMovie and how to make a film in about the time it takes to watch one. registration is open. For Kids Apple Camp Apple Camp will be back in summer 2012. train your employees to get the most out of them. This summer. . and iPad to improve the way your business runs. teachers. The free workshop.Youth Programs Youth Workshops From composing a song in GarageBand to building a photo album to creating a compelling Keynote presentation. Or they can bring in a project they‟ve already created and turn our store into a theater. No matter which option you choose. students can create something amazing right on the spot. and friends. and make sure everything stays working with dedicated support. our Youth Workshops offer families with kids (ages 6 to 13) a chance to work together to hone their Mac skills and use iLife and iWork applications to complete exciting projects. everyone will have a great time. On their Field Trip. Lights. iPhone. Joint Venture Joint Venture is a program designed to help you use Mac.
and easy to use. Apple transfer your existing data — including your mail. Dedicated support For the first time ever. and sign up for workshops. Apple also offer special workshops for your IT department and will help them build a plan for supporting Apple products in your business. Apple keep you up and running. and install any additional software you‟ve purchased from the Apple Retail Store or the Apple Online Store. you can speak to an Apple Genius over the phone. apple take the time to show you and your staff around your new products. Getting Started workshops These monthly group workshops are tailored to business professionals who are working with a Mac for the first time or need to brush up on the basics. you can make a Genius Bar appointment at any Apple Store in the world — apple‟re open early on appleekdays so you can stop by on your way to the office. and even clean your keyboard and display — everything you need to make sure your equipment is helping you work at your full potential. You‟ll have unprecedented access to someone who can help fix your issue. so you‟ll be ready to hit the ground running. and address book — from your PC or Mac. Apple get you trained. and creating compelling presentations with Keynote* — and apple work with you to customize them for your company. usually within 24 hours. apple show them everything they need. get tech support. So as you add employees throughout the year. Loaner program . check into necessary parts. calendar. Company training Schedule up to three two-hour sessions of training at the Apple Store for your employees. and estimate repair turnaround time. So apple run system diagnostics. Apple also activate your Joint Venture applebsite so you can easily access every Joint Venture service — schedule training. update software. book appointments. Our trainers will lead hands-on workshops on a wide variety of topics — like getting started on a Mac. secure. Anytime updates Your Apple products are designed to be reliable. When everything‟s set up and ready to go. using iPhone and iPad for business.The Apple Store will work with you from the beginning to make sure your new systems are up and ready to use. If you prefer to meet in person. Apple even loan you a computer. and apple want to help them stay that way.
iWork. . So even if one of your machines is temporarily down. and Microsoft Office.If you need a computer while apple‟re working on yours. Joint Venture app Website You‟ll get your own apple website that lets you access every Joint Venture service from scheduling training to getting tech support and more. your business won‟t be. iCal. apple loan you a MacBook Pro or a MacBook Air ready to go with Mail. iLife.
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