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Apple rumored to improve Genius Bar service with shorter wait times

Apple is said to be prepping major changes to the Genius Bar at its brick-and-mortar retail stores, in hopes of offering customers shorter wait times and quick overnight repairs.

MacRumors on Wednesday said that it has received word that Apple plans to overhaul its Genius Bars in an effort to increase customer satisfaction. The details come a day after AppleInsider first reported that Apple is now drumming up excitement with its retail employees, promising something that will make a "big" impact.

Specifically, author Eric Slivka cited three new changes that will allegedly be implemented:

  • Active queue management — Apple's goal is for walk-in customers headed to the Genius Bar to be served within 30 minutes. To meet this goal, the stores will reassign some employees from other areas of the store when needed.

  • Overnight repairs — Retail stores will reportedly place a greater focus on overnight repairs, with the goal of a faster turnaround for customers who need their Apple products fixed. however, this will come at somewhat of an expense to "While You Wait" repairs.

  • Multitasking — Genius Bar employees will be asked to serve multiple customers at once, rather than just focusing on one person. Employees will help another customer during downtime (such as during a computer reboot), and support staff will attempt to pair customers who have reservations for similar or identical issues.

"While Apple is pitching the changes as a significant enhancement to support services in its retail stores, others are not so sure," the report said. "One Apple retail store employee familiar with the changes noted that the company is trying to 'do more with less,' pulling in less-qualified Creatives and offering less personal attention through multitasking in order to deal with customer demand rather than hiring new staff.

"The employee also expressed concern about low stocks of parts available at retail stores and how without a change in how parts are allocated and delivered many repairs will not be able to be completed overnight as planned."