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Apple’s Top Secret Training Techniques Revealed (and They’re Surprisingly Simple)

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Apple Stor

Ever wonder what it took to be a “Genius?” Apple is known for seriously training every single employee and using some trade secret techniques. Unless you have a friend who’s hawked Apple gear and have heard the inside scoop, the rest of us non-Rain men have been left in the dark. Until now.

Apple’s training manual has leaked and what’s inside will shock you — but not for the reasons you think. The key to fantastic training is surprisingly simple and really brings us back to what customer service is supposed to be. Not even Apple came up with some magical, never-before-seen Voodoo this time.

Then there are some items in there you wouldn’t expect, or you wouldn’t think will work for your company. But would they?

Customer Service 101

Gizmodo recently came into possession of the intimidating manual that Apple requires all new sales employees to study. Training takes place over two weeks and includes technical information, how to respond to customers, and the “right” words to use — as well as the big no-no’s.

The biggest tactic Gizmodo uncovered? Empathy.

Make an effort to step into every customer’s shoes (even if they’re Crocs) and use the word “feel” with abundance, says Apple. The leader in tech customer service’s biggest secret is to see their customers as human beings with feelings and respond in a sympathetic way.

Apology Not Accepted

Another big theme throughout the training manual is to never apologize. Ever. This includes apologies for the company, for the product, or to even hint that an apology is an appropriate response.

Words that cannot be spoken, such as “crash,” “problem,” (and I’m guessing “piece of…”) are basically the equivalent of summoning Beetlejuice. This is an interesting approach to a customer-service based company. Perhaps the attorneys were in on this one.

Constructive Criticism

The training manual also encourages quick and vehement feedback if you (an Apple genius) sees another genius doing something wrong. This seems like it would foster a hostile work environment, but apparently not. Even though it’s part of life, nobody likes being corrected and especially not in front of a customer. However, Apple pulls it off.

What You Can Use

It doesn’t matter if you’re in the business of providing construction accounting software or selling quilted blankets. The biggest thing to take from Apple is the ability to empathize. Of course, it’s much easier said than done even if you get two full weeks of training.

Utilizing the “no apologies” rule and rampant constructive criticism obviously work in some instances. Whether or not that will work for your business is up for debate. However, working on conscious word choices and a staff committed to bettering the company are both smart moves. Good luck, genius.

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