Apple empowers the user in-store via its Apple Store App

Apple empowers the user in-store via its Apple Store App

Summary: Apple refreshes its Apple Store App and adds customer support features for use in-store

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Earlier today I wrote about the new iPad Retail 2.0 experience being offered at the Apple Store. One thing that I neglected to mention is that Apple also released a new version of its Apple Store App. Included in the new features of the app are the ability for you to get help and support while you're at an Apple Store. In addition, you can custom-configure a new Mac from the App itself.

The custom-configuring is definitely a step in the right direction, but the coolest new feature is the ability to summon help from your iPhone. As you can see from the screenshots below, when you run the Apple Store App in the Apple Store itself, you get a down-to-the-minute indication of how many people are in line, and how long before you will receive support. There's also a queue showing when the next workshop is.

Once your number is up, you are greeted with a picture of the person who is ready to help you, with information on where to meet that person.

It's definitely great to see Apple taking full advantage of what you can do with the iOS platform. I'm hopeful that more companies will take their queues from Apple and start integrating mobile as a must-have and not just a nice-to-have.

My previous experience at the Apple Store involved me walking up to an employee who then typed my name and a description of me into her iPad. Then when it was my turn, an employee would come find me. With this latest iteration I'm more empowered, not only knowing how long I would be waiting but also seeing a picture and the name of the person that's about to assist me. Welcome to Retail 2.0.

Topics: Apple, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Operating Systems, Smartphones

Joel Evans

About Joel Evans

With more than 15 years of mobile, Internet and wireless experience, Joel specializes in taking existing brands and technologies into the mobile and wireless space. Joel is currently the VP of Strategy Integration for Mobiquity, an enterprise-class mobile solutions provider.

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15 comments
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  • So the assistant uses the app on your phone to geolocate you when he/she is

    ready to provide you with answer to your question if it takes time to find the answer?

    I mean some stores are quite big and if they have this function you does not have to sit/stand still right near to Genius bar or service point waiting, you are free go "exploring surroundings".
    DDERSSS
    • They had Geo Location in iOS for ages...

      @denisrs
      ...up until the 4.3.3 update. You could go "exploring surroundings" in the next state and they would still find you.
      ;-)
      dazzlingd
  • RE: Apple empowers the user in-store via its Apple Store App

    I don't see them using this at the Apple store near here. Last time I went in there, there were 5 employees standing around and 2 customers. No summons through a phone needed.
    LoverockDavidson
    • RE: Apple empowers the user in-store via its Apple Store App

      troll
      DeusXMachina
  • Is there an android version of that app?

    Great concept, but I have an android phone.
    paulhknight
    • RE: Apple empowers the user in-store via its Apple Store App

      @paulhknight Likwise, it won't be long before they catch on at Google though.
      JPMiddleton
  • What ever happened to REAL customer service?

    It sounds like Apple is first to get rid of it.<br>Whatever happened to salespeople walking up to you, getting (and remembering) your name, then come find you and help?<br><br>Now its all "buy our phone, our app, get entered into our DB and then get paged when it's your turn."<br><br>I can get <b>that</b> on a phone support call.

    Using technology for technology's sake isn't the way to go.
    Will Pharaoh
    • RE: Apple empowers the user in-store via its Apple Store App

      @Will Pharaoh

      It's actually using technology to enhancing their already great customer service. If you've ever been to an Apple store needing Genius Bar assistant, and had to wait patiently for your name to finally show up on screen, then you'll appreciate this app even more. I don't have to wait in the store to see that there's 5 people ahead of me. The app will now give me that info, as well as other info.
      dave95.
    • RE: Apple empowers the user in-store via its Apple Store App

      @Will Pharaoh

      So you prefer waiting 2-3 times longer for a particular person to get free, rather than the first available assistant? How is this better customer service?
      DeusXMachina
  • It also doubles as a speed dating app. [nt]

    [nt]
    olePigeon
  • It's missing a feature in the App...

    although I believe it's in the next update.

    "If you have an iPhone Problem, there are 3 customers ahead."

    "If you have a Mac Hardware problem, there is a 15 minute wait."

    "If you are believe you have a Malware infection, the Exit is first on the left."
    dazzlingd
  • RE: Apple empowers the user in-store via its Apple Store App

    Will it let you purchase a malware removal tool?
    tonymcs@...
    • RE: Apple empowers the user in-store via its Apple Store App

      @tonymcs@...<br>For what? What malware on the mac requires a removal tool? (Hint: NOT MacDefender)<br><br>Oh, wait, that's right, you don't know what you're talking about.
      DeusXMachina
  • Wow, they are very creative

    Sometimes an obvious thing appears and you think, "Why didn't I think of that!". I love how creative Apple is in their retail stores. I'm not a Mac guy, but I visit the store for iPhone and iPad stuff. Always love the experience.
    songzunhuang
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