Unearthed: Apple’s secret employee manual reveals sales tactics and prohibited words

Macworld Australia Staff
29 August, 2012
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An Apple Genius training manual has been published online, providing details about how the company trains its employees in body language, conversation patterns, empathy, role-playing and prohibited words that have been declared as off-limits when dealing with  customers.

Gizmodo reports the Genius Training Student Workbook is the “company’s most up to date… Apple Dos and Don’ts” for Apple Genius employees in the making. The manual details a two-week schedule including ‘Fearless Feedback’, ‘Documenting Customer Interactions’, ‘Open and Closed Questions’ and the ‘three Fs’ – feel, felt and found.

The aim of the training is for Apple staff members to be able to subtly guide a customer to find an Apple product that suits them by themselves, as reported by various other sites including AppleInsider..

Apple’s sales approach, according to Gizmodo, is for staff to “go up to someone and get them to open up to you about their computing desires, insecurities and needs; offer them choices (of things to buy); hear them out; then seal the day in a way that makes it feel like the customer has come to this decision on their own.”

“The manual condemns pushiness – that’s a good thing – but it also preaches a form of salesmanship that’s slightly creepy: every Apple customer should feel empowered, when it’s really the Genius pulling strings,” the website writes.

Apple staff also have a  list of words that the manual clearly stipulates as banned. Some of these include never describing a system as ‘crashing’, referring to problems as being ‘eliminated’, or describing a situations as an ‘issue’.

Gag order: Apple's manual outlines banned words and suggested alternatives for its staff to use when dealing with customers.

[Image via Gizmodo]

The unearthed manual follows recent reports that Apple’s retail sector is shifting its focus from customer service to grow store profits.

For a complete look at Apple’s training manual and the various sections of customer service regulations, see Gizmodo for the full report.

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