business news in context, analysis with attitude

Good piece in the Los Angeles Times about the newest consumer-oriented innovation at some Apple Stores around the country – a “Studio” counter that complements the “Genius” bar.

When Apple Computer began operating its own retail stores around the country, one of the most heralded features was a Genius Bar that provided free advice for consumers trying to fix problems or figure out how certain functions work. Whether the shopper had a problem with iPod battery life or the hard drive of a Mac laptop, black-shirted experts were on hand to help out. (The biggest problem has been the queues.)

But at the San Francisco Apple Store, it was noticed that the Genius Bar was being used to get advice about how certain multimedia programs worked – so the store created a Studio counter designed specifically so experts in digital media could “dole out advice on such topics as how to make slide shows with digital photos, edit video and burn DVDs of the projects,” according to the Times, staffed by “Creatives” who have “varied backgrounds: sound engineering, film, video art, photography, Web design.”
KC's View:
We recently were in the San Francisco Apple Store and noticed the Studio counter. When we asked an employee how it differed from the Genius Bar, she said that “one was for people who have problems while the other was for people who want to explore possibilities.”

What a great line. And what a great approach to customer service.