Have you ever been impressed by the Mac Geniuses' illustrious technical skills and abilities to save crashed hard drives and un-freeze iPhones? these computer geeks are sought after and heavily relied upon to repair the products that fuel this generation. However, how does Apple train its Geniuses to aid frantic customers in times of imminent crises? What masterful tactics are imparted on these tech savvy individuals to successfully handle customer service, in the face of a disgruntled client holding up a dreaded blue screen?
Below are some intriguing pointers from the training manual of the Mac Geniuses that are applicable to working with any consumer, customer, client, co-worker, colleague and even your supervisor throughout most occupational fields.
When facing an unpleasant business situation and one is forced to either speak directly, call or e-mail another about the present unsatisfactory news, the key concept is to avoid all negative connotations about the incident. A Mac Genius is forbidden to utter the words "crashed" or "virus". These techs rely on subtle turns of phrase that levies the customer's expectations for a resolution of the issue and attempts to solidify or at least continue the customer's faith in their beloved Apple product. The laptop is simply "not responding" at this time or there seems to be a "situation" with your iPhone (one that surely a Genius can remedy with precise skill and action).
This discounting or minimization of the negative is useful when things have not gone as previously planned in business or if a customer is having an issue with a product. Remember that the adjectives and adverbs to describe the product's abilities, the state of accounts, the bottom lines, etc. are key. Always utilize uplifting and future oriented sentiments to assure the other party that this perceived minor setback is indeed minor, temporary and most-importantly fixable.
Amateur: The account has underachieved and earnings are below previously anticipated estimates.
Genius: The account earnings have yet to meet expectations.
This tactic is always useful, when assisting any customer, client or colleague that is facing a precarious situation. No matter if the account has just fallen through, a backer has suddenly dropped out or the device stopped responding; a competent worker's job is not only to assist in the resolution, but hear out the gripes of the other party.
It is human nature to want to vent one's disstress and dissatisfaction, yet each individual also wants some semblance of comfort and consoling from an acknowledgement of the feeling at hand. Apple is not insisting that each worker cries with the customer over every error message, but they do train their Geniuses to help that a customer feels heard on an emotional level. This can foster a team atmosphere, as the Genius is on the customers side helping resolve the fixable situation. Simply stating that you understand the difficulty and frustration of the situation in a concerned tone can help the customer get passed the problem and move on to being open to discerning a solution. In addition, it can help shift the conversation away from the negative.
A young female customer comes in crying, because her hard drive crashed. She states that she was unable to finish her college report on time, thus resulting in a poor grade.
Amateur: [Brashly] Can you stop crying already, it is not as if you broke your arm. I am unable to help you with your laptop, if I cannot understand you.
Genius: [Sympathetically] I can tell this is really frustrating for you, but can you try to slow down. I really want to help you get your laptop back to functioning at maximum capacity.
The ability to tell someone that he or she is wrong is a very delicate art. No one likes hearing that he or she has made a mistake and letting a co-worker, client, or boss know that he or she is in the wrong can create hostility, lead to arguments and at times even termination. However, correcting others is a necessary occurrence in the business world, especially while working with clients.
When attempting to let a client know that he or she is wrong about something, the Mac Geniuses are trained to first acknowledge the other party's original line of thinking and then providing the right response. Letting the customer know that "yes" it would make sense to believe this or that, before telling them the correct avenue of thought is a beneficial tactic. Having the customer or client believe that others think the same way that he or she does, will make it easier to accept the notion that he or she has been mistaken, if not overshadow it completely.
An overzealous male customer believes that his laptop should be compatible with an updated version of the program Ableton Live. However, the laptop's older processor and lack of available memory renders this program unable to run.
Amateur: I do not understand why you would think that, your processor speed cannot run that program.
Genius: It makes sense that you thought that your laptop could run this program, it turns out that you do not have enough processing speed. Would you be interested in looking at any new laptops or other programs here that are compatible with your current laptop?