How to be an Apple Genius: A look inside the manual

Gizmodo has gotten its hands on an Apple internal training manual for its retail Geniuses, and it's just as Apple-like as you'd expect it to be, complete with very structured, high level how-tos for creating and pushing the always unique Apple brand. It all makes sense, really: Apple is now the most valuable brand in the world, and Apple's Geniuses are the (lowest-paid) ambassadors of that brand, so this manual is an attempt to codify just what it is that's so special about this company.

To that end, Apple's made use of strategies like empathizing with customers almost to a fault, and even using special acronyms (Approach, Probe, Present, Listen, End for "Apple," or the three Fs: Feel, Felt, Found, for how a customer's feelings should be adjusted while chatting about discovering new tech options in the store) to smooth out the whole experience. Apple's Geniuses are asked never to use words like "crash" or "hot" -- instead, computers may "stop responding" or iOS devices may be "warm" at best. Perhaps most interesting, Apple Geniuses are encouraged to "surprise" customers instead of correct them. Using the phrase "turns out" (as in, "it turns out the iPad has up to 64 GB of memory") is specifically mentioned as a way to surprise customers with Apple quality.

The manual sounds like a fascinating read. At times, it can get a little robotic, especially when Apple talks about Geniuses giving feedback to each other. But it's interesting to see Apple try and codify all of the "secret sauce" it's put into its very popular brand over the years.