This past Sunday, our house was faced with a crisis — my son’s MacBook died. We tried everything we could, but were unable to get it to even reboot. That’s a big problem when there’s a ton of homework that needs to get done.
So, after our initial panic, we went online, scheduled a session at an Apple Retail Store Genius Bar nearby, went there, and got it fixed. It was really that easy.
This was the best technical service experience that I’ve ever personally had with a computer manufacturer. The Genius Bar is a great concept; people will always run into problems with technology, so why not make it easy for them to get help and advice! Here’s what I thought was great about my family’s experience:
- We could schedule time online. With an easy visit to the Apple site (http://www.apple.com/retail/geniusbar/), we were able to find an Apple store nearby that was open on Sunday — and schedule some time at the Genius Bar.
- Appointments were clearly posted. When we arrived at the Apple Store, we found a couple of screens behind the Genius Bar that listed all of the people in queue for help. We were able to easily track our progression from the 4th spot to the front of the line.
- The “genius” really was. The Apple employee who helped us (Ron in Burlington, MA) knew his stuff. He was extremely efficient and quickly diagnosed our MacBook’s problem — the hard drive was dead. He then clearly outlined our options.
- The problem was fixed on-the-spot. We chose to replace the hard drive, which Ron did right there. The computer was still under warranty, so all we had to do was sign a piece of paper and we were on our way — with a repaired MacBook.
While we were there, many people came and went from “the bar” — all of them getting repairs and/or advice about their computers or iPods.
Nothing’s perfect, so here’s a recommendation to Apple: allow users to search for the nearest Genius Bar by zip-code — and look for availability of appointments across locations.
The bottom line: It doesn’t take a genius to appreciate Apple’s great service.