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Apple tweaks Genius policies, hours to boost efficiency

18 July 2010 3,416 views 3 Comments

Steve Jobs said on Friday that the company’s international chain of Apple Stores saw more than 60-million customers come through the doors — a new record. Naturally, a lot of those folks were headed to the Genius Bar, which has led to longer wait times to see a Genius and commensurately heavy work loads for employees.

Thereupon, ifoAppleStore reports that the company is revising Genius Bar policies and hours to better handle this swelling tide. For example, whereas Geniuses have long multitasked several customers at the same time, this is now an official requirement.

Doubling down

Further, Genius hours are being extended until midnight in order to work off daily backlogs, which have increased due to the swelling ranks of new Mac (100,000 every month), iPhone and iPad users, as well as a new policy to increase the number of services that will be performed overnight for next day delivery. Although ifoAppleStore doesn’t offer details, many while you wait services are going away so that Geniuses can service and turnover multiple customers within Apple’s 30-minute target.

“Employees are unhappy but are unable to vent. Ron Johnson [senior vice president, retail] sent an email thanking everyone for there hard work, but it really doesn’t cut it,” said a tipster. “Employees are stressed, overworked, and understaffed.”

The combination of robust sales and fewer new stores being built, 14 last year versus 30 in 2008, has stores “working over full capacity” and that quite naturally has employees straining under and complaining about the load. Add to this witch’s brew of discontent an initiative by the company whereby management will be more closely monitoring Geniuses to insure they’re multitasking customers and turning them over within 30-minutes.

And, doesn’t this sound all very familiar? It increasing seems that Apple as a whole is being pushed to the breaking point…

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