An Inside Look at How Apple Trains Its Geniuses

Who needs certifications for tech support and sales if you can land a gig as an Apple Genius? Gizmodo got its hands on an Apple Genius Training manual and it’s a hoot. The book and a 14-day training course teach Geniuses-to-be about becoming a politician, psychologist, technician and sales rep all balled up into one.

What to Say, or Not

apple-logoFor starters, the manual lists specific words to avoid in order to prompt customers to say, “yes.” A peek:

  • Do not use: “bomb,” “crash,” or “bug”
  • Avoid: “freeze”
  • Use: “unexpectedly quits,” “does not respond,” or “stops responding”

How to Say it

One of Apple’s “Empathy Exercises” sections delves into ways to deliver the words. Every genius should practice the the “Fs” – “Feel,” “Felt,” “Found.”

In one scenario, a customer says: “I want an iPad, but I need a mouse. I can’t deal with all this touching.”

How to respond? Geniuses use the three Fs to say: “I may know how you feel. I’m a mouse fan and felt as if I’d never get used to it, but I found it becomes very easy with a little practice.”

Reading the Customer

As the Genius talks, they’re supposed to keep a close eye on reading your body language. Beware of their hawk eyes. For example, here’s what your body language may be saying:

  • Cooperation – Tilted head, hand-on-face gestures and unbuttoned coat
  • Acceptance – Moving in closer, touching, hand to chest
  • Frustration – Fist-like gestures, Palm to back of neck and kicking at the ground or an imaginary object.
  • Boredom – Blank stare, drumming on table

Don’t Let Bored Customers Get You Down

There’s also a lengthy list of “We” inspirational instructions that border on evangelical gospel. See if you’re moved enough to chant:

  • We guide every interaction
  • We help them discover
  • We enrich their lives
  • We deliver enriching experiences
  • We strive to inspire

Feel the love?

Rebellious Geniuses

Despite Apple’s effort to indoctrinate their Geniuses, the approach apparently doesn’t always take. Gizmodo talked to several former Geniuses, who dissed the training and said they never put it into action.

Nonetheless, Apple’s retail stores continue to crank out sales – whether or not the Geniuses get smart via training. By the way, an Apple Genius makes roughly $39,000 a year.

3 Responses to “An Inside Look at How Apple Trains Its Geniuses”

  1. Apple doesn’t want tech geniuses. They never did. They want Target and Best Buy graduates that have retail experience. Real techs won’t get a shot. I’ve worked for Apple Service Providers and have had the Apple hardware and ACSA certs and they’ll haven’t called me when I did apply. May be I know too much or I am too good a tech. 🙂

  2. Dr Satan

    Apple genius’ hardly made $39k maybe in the bigger markets like california and new york but in the middle level markets, not quite.

    They never hire people whove worked for apple or know a single thing about apple products, NEVER take your apple computer into an applestore for repairs, it will be a nightmare and will with some of the least intelligent people there.