Apple’s “Genius” technical support employees base their interactions with customers around the Genius Training Student Workbook, which focuses on the use empathetic communication.
According to a report by The Guardian, Geniuses should apologize that customers feel bad when they encounter problems with a product, but should not implicate the product itself as the source of the problem.
Within these interactions, Apple forbids Geniuses from using a number of words that may implicate its products, including “crash”, “hang”, “bug”, and “problem”.
Geniuses are instead encouraged to use words such as “situation”, “issue”, and “stops responding”.
According to the report, this can result in odd interactions with customers where support staff are forbidden from stating that they cannot help with the problem, and customers becoming frustrated at the lack of a definite answer to their issue.
The report added that this approach is a result of Apple’s focus on using emotional communication and tension diffusion instead of placing problem solving and technical support as the primary goal.