Apple’s secret Genius Training Manual has leaked out, showing how the Cupertino giant instructs its retail staffers to think and act when confronted with problems, as well as how to speak in order to sell.
Obtained by Gizmodo, the tech site that got on Apple’s bad side by exposing the unreleased iPhone 4 to the world, the training manual offers a look
inside the mindset of Apple Geniuses, who are required to master psychology like pros.
They also have a bunch of banned words, and they have to become experts at roleplaying. A key takeaway from the document is the Empathy Exercise, photographed above.
Apple tells staffers that if they don’t “feel empathetic” they’ll sound insincere. Note that Apple instructs employees to actually “feel” empathy, not just act like they feel it. In other words, it has to become their second nature, a religion, if you will.
For example, when the customer says, “This Mac is just too expensive,” the Genius is instructed to reply, “I can see how you'd feel this way. I felt the price was a little high, but I found it's a real value because of all the built-in software and capabilities.”
The same goes for customers fearing the iPad because it’s not equipped with a mouse, or those who are afraid they might not get the handle of things when they take home their Apple product, whether it’s a Mac, or something else.
Staffers aren’t allowed to use some words, such as “crash,” when the system stops responding (they’re actually instructed to say “stops responding”), or to “eliminate” a problem, when they’re expected to say “reduce [a problem]”.
Some robot speak is promoted among staffers who are encouraged to help fellow employees whenever they pull away from the guidelines, or simply forget important Dos and Don’ts.
However, Gizmodo spoke with a former Genius who confirmed that such formal addressing was never used in real life, “Only during core training, never on the floor.”