AppleInsider reported Monday night that U.S. Apple Stores are implementing a brand-new iOS app called ‘Concierge’,’ which sends push notifications to employees when customers check in for Genius Bar appointments.
Customers must, of course, check in using an iOS device. The Apple Store app will send a message to a customer’s iOS device once they enter the store, prompting their check in. Once checked in, the customer receives a picture of the employee who will help them, as well as their position in line.
On the employee end, an ‘iQueue’ can be monitored, which lists all waiting customers and their check in times.
Additionally, store management will have access to a function of the Concierge app called ‘Scout’ (not pictured), for the purpose of setting up specific check in locations. The ‘Scout’ function is purportedly a one-time deal, as Apple collects the data for their location-based services.
The idea behind the Concierge app, as with anything Apple implements in their retail stores, is to make the customer experience easier. But will it?
During my tenure as a Specialist in Apple retail, my store was using a web app and (with the advent of EasyPay Touch) an iOS app to help us keep track of customers’ appointments. There was always an employee stationed at the door for the dual purpose of greeting and physically checking in customers for their various appointments. The system worked about 80% of the time.
But if you’ve ever worked retail, you know that weekends are excruciating. Malls are awash with teenagers goofing off, families trying to get errands done, and masses of slow-moving window shoppers. All of these people like to congregate in the Apple Store. Teenagers can’t resist the siren song of endless PhotoBooth sessions, it takes ages for a family to decide on what Mac they want, and endless people spend hours playing with devices they have no intention to buy.
Factor that in with a store attempting to keep to its Genius Bar schedule, and it spells disaster and doom. Especially for that poor person stationed at the door.
Customers being able to check themselves in is a blessing for situations like these. One of the most painful memories I have of the Apple Store was watching a colleague struggle with checking in arriving customers, directing others to the Genius Bar, and having to placate a growing circle of still others impatiently waiting their turn. Now, with the Concierge app, customers will become more self-service. Fewer people will have to be checked in by a human. In essence, the flow of customers in the store should have fewer clogs.
Obviously, those with iOS devices will have the upper hand, unless retail stores set up their display devices to allow check ins. (Previously, all Macs on display were equipped with customer-facing check in software).
Have you been to the Apple Store recently and checked in via this app? Let us know your experience in the comments!
Article Via AppleInsider
Photo Credit: MacStories
Header Photo Credit: Mark Jardine