Originally Posted by mstone
I think what the ads are showing is One on One for $99. The regular genius bar isn't going to help you edit video in iMovie or help you make a coffee table book. Could be one reason they don't specifically mention that Genius Bar is free because it is not designed for the type of training that is shown in the ads as much as it is for issues of stuff not working as expected. Apple's expansion of the Genius Bar may be targeting the training aspect because all of the users in the ads are somewhat clueless about computers and/or application functionality.
You may well be on to something. There are no Apple stores nearby -- so I am not current on what goes on in the store. Most stores had a training/group presentation area that they used to teach specific things like iMovie, etc. I don't know if they still do this... but I think they should. Apple has several things to gain:
- solving problems == satisfied customers
- training == more capable customers == reference sell other customers
- people in the store == buy things
We called it service and support -- even if the customer bought his Apple elswhere, we would help him exploit it! Instead of Store XYZ's unhappy Apple customer -- he became Computer Plus' satisfied (and capable) Apple customer... And he bought all his high-priced accessories and next computer from us -- because he knew we would support him and the products we sold... And he would tell others about us.
We opened our Sunnyvale store on December 30, 1978. Our first customer, Ed, bought an Apple ][ in San Francisco, and when he got home he discovered that there were no game paddles *... only an Apple chit.
Apple ][s were on 6-month backorder at that time and no one had any stock. Mark and I brought our own personal systems to the store -- that's all we had... no Inventory! Anyway, Ed tried hitting all the stores from SF to Silicon Valley (AIR there were about 8 stores -- we were the 5th store in Silicon Valley). We were closed when Ed knocked on our door, but we let him in. Ed told us his sob story -- how his son was so disappointed ** that he couldn't play BreakOut,,, Long story short, I traded Ed my game paddles for the Apple chit. Ed, who had been pissed at Apple, pissed at CmputerLand SF, pissed at the world in general... left as a happy Computer Plus Apple customer...
Ed was a regular (repeat) customer for the next 11 years... sure, Ed bought some stuff closer to home, but major purchases were made from Computer Plus... and he sent a lot of business our way.
* missing paddles would have never surprised a Computer Plus customer. We tested/burned- in every computer for 48 hours and took the customer through a checkout [basic training] on his computer before he left the store (microcomputers were pretty wanky in those days).
** Turns out that the reason Ed's son was so disappointed is because Ed never had a son -- the paddles wer so that Ed could play BreakOut.
My point, in all this is for something as mind and capability-expandng as a computer -- after-sales support is a key to a satisfied customer... And you'd be amazed how easy it is to flip after-sales support into before-next-sale support.