The American computer giant Apple now has 511 Apple Stores, spread over a total of 23 countries, including 20 stores in France (and nine in Île-de-France alone), according to Statista. And its range of products – iPhone, Macbook… – still attracts high-tech enthusiasts. The apple brand also concluded the third quarter of 2020-2021 with very satisfactory results, particularly in terms of turnover from April to June.
Sales of its smartphones increased by 50% and the company accumulated $81.4 billion in revenue, much more than expected according to figures released by AFP on Wednesday July 28. But in stores, salespeople sometimes regret the incivility, aggressiveness and lack of consideration shown by some customers. Thomas*, a salesman for five years in an Apple Store in the South of France, and Kevin*, on a student contract in a store in the capital, agreed for Business Insider to list seven behaviors to be avoided.
Let a seller manage everything for him, without taking a minimum interest in his smartphone.
“Often, customers do not take the trouble to learn a minimum about their smartphone and its features”, regrets Thomas, salesman for five years in an Apple Store in the South-East of France. “The other time, I asked one of them for his Apple ID, he didn’t even know what it was. In fact, they expect us to do everything for them” , completes the young man.
According to Thomas, some iPhone users believe that advisors are obligated to solve any problems they encounter, even those that they could very well solve themselves. “We are here to teach people how to use a product independently, not to give them a hard time,” adds the seller. “I have met customers who made no effort to try to master the device they had in their hands”.
Ask him when the new iPhone will be released.
Kevin works 18 hours a week in a Parisian Apple Store to pay for his studies. For three years, he has always been asked the same questions about new Apple products, their release date and their arrival in stores. “People think that we sellers are involved in the design of the new iPhone 13,” laughs the business school student. “But the truth is that we receive this information at the same time as consumers and cannot anticipate anything,” he explains.
Negotiate a discount with the staff.
This is a customer trend that is often found in commerce. At Apple, employees have described customers ready to haggle or negotiate a reduction when they buy several products, thus demanding “a commercial gesture”. “I can’t allow myself to make such a decision without my manager’s agreement”, recalls Thomas, “I don’t decide at the head of the client, it doesn’t work like that”. Kevin remembers being in “awkward situations” when he refused to give a discount to his customers. “At Apple, we encourage salespeople to keep smiling in all circumstances. Sometimes it’s hard to explain certain things without getting upset,” he admits.
Refuse to pay for his repair at the Genius Bar.
“It’s the same principle for the Genius Bar (Apple repair shop, editor’s note)”, continues Thomas. Repair costs for Apple products, such as replacing a broken screen, are sometimes particularly high and the final amount of assistance can be very expensive. “Parts are expensive, but assembly and labor are expensive, and customers tend to forget that,” points out Kevin, who says he has to reason with consumers refusing to pay.
Steal exhibit products… which are geolocated.
This rarely happens, but a few employees have noticed that some showroom models are missing, as are their “sim trays” (the iPhone compartment in which a SIM card is located). Fortunately, thieves are often forced to abandon their loot “in front of the store” when they realize that “all the display devices are geolocated”, assures Kevin.
Be aggressive towards salespeople.
“Impatience, requirement, incivility and aggressiveness”, here are a few words to define the behavior of certain customers according to Kevin. Most of the time, the seller meets nice people, advises nice people, but sometimes he has to make an effort to keep his cool. “Apple stores leave a lot of freedom to customers, it’s part of the principles of the brand,” he explains.
Throughout the year, Kevin rubs shoulders with wealthy tourists on vacation in the capital. “These don’t have a bit of patience. Because they have a lot of money, they think we have to comply with their demands without a hello or a thank you,” notes the student. He doesn’t say anything, just smiles and takes it upon himself. “I feel like they don’t treat us like human beings.”
Leave your trash lying around the store.
In the evening, a cleaning team is dispatched to disinfect the surfaces of the Apple Stores. But it is common that, during the day, customers leave packaging and other waste lying around near the fragile and expensive equipment of the Apple brand. It is then up to the sellers to clear the counters during their break, they assure, exasperated.
*Names have been changed.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider France
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