People who want to grab walk-in appointments from the Genius Bar may have a new reason to celebrate. According to a report by Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac, Apple will be rolling out a new version of its Concierge system that will use a person’s mobile phone to page them when a Genius is available.
Under the new system, people will be able to walk into the Apple Store, tell an employee about their problem, and then sign up to be notified when there’s a slot for them. Right now, they get three text messages: one confirming the request and offering a projected wait time, one reminding them to come back to the Apple Store for service, and a third letting them know that it’s time for them to see a Genius.
Concierge will also reportedly include some triage functionality, so people with more severe problems will get seen ahead of those folks who walked in with a cracked iPhone screen. It’s a radical change to the current system, which offers people first-come, first-served time at the bar whenever a Genius has free time.
According to the report, the new system is supposed to roll out the week of March 9. That will be music to the ears of frustrated Genius Bar patrons. Right now, trying to snag a walk-in appointment at the Genius Bar can be a pain. Apple Stores are usually crowded, and most bars are booked solid days in advance. In order to keep a spot, someone has to wait around in the store until a Genius is available to help them.
This new system should help reduce some of that crowding, and allow people to get faster help for important problems. Apple is no stranger to using text messages for line management – its reservation system for iPhone pickup during peak demand uses text messages to let people know when a phone is ready for them.
The change was reportedly spearheaded by Angela Ahrendts, the head of Apple’s retail division. Ahrendts, who was previously the CEO of Burberry, is also reportedly working on a redesign of Apple Stores to accommodate the new Apple Watch, which is slated for release in April.