Each of us must do our part to be mindful of others and keep safety paramount as the world feels the effects of the coronavirus. Apple is facing its own unique challenges during this time, and your next visit to an Apple Store might be a little different. There are a few simple tips you can follow to make your experience better and pass the empathy on to store team members.

This week we learned that the supply of replacement iPhones and parts to Apple Stores will be constrained for up to 2-4 weeks as suppliers struggle with production. If your iPhone is severely damaged and needs to be replaced, you may need to accept a loaner iPhone or wait until a replacement is mailed to you when available.

It’s frustrating to leave a store with your problem unresolved, so keep these tips in mind for success:

Make an appointment before you arrive

If you walk in an Apple Store without an appointment, you’ll need to wait for the next available slot — which could be hours away. To minimize lost time and effort, visit Apple’s repair website and start a repair request as soon as you can.

Remember that supply constraints aren’t under your store’s control

Apple’s team members want nothing more than to ensure you have a smooth experience and move along with your day. If they could snap their fingers and make a replacement iPhone appear, they would. Show the Genius you’re working with empathy, and you’ll receive it in return.

Prepare your device before you arrive

You can save hours for yourself and Apple’s staff by preparing for your appointment prior to arriving at the store. The single best step to remember is to back up your device at home instead of at an Apple Store. If you’re given a loaner iPhone, you’ll need to restore it from a backup in the interim and restore the replacement phone when it arrives, so regular backups are essential. Apple offers more tips on preparing for a repair on the Apple Support YouTube channel:

Consider online support options

If you’re dealing with software issues or have questions about your device, you’ll probably find an answer faster by using Apple’s live chat and phone support options than an in-person visit. You’ll spend less time waiting and help combat the spread of germs by saving a trip outside. Try the Apple Support app before making an appointment.

Clean your device — and your hands

Just like you’re wary of grabbing a public door handle in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, Apple’s team members are trying to stay safe as well. Most Apple Stores now have hand sanitizer stations at the door — use them! Sanitize your iPhone before handing it to a team member, and let them know for peace of mind. Better yet, offer to handle the phone yourself while they guide you through the software. They’ll appreciate your mindfulness.

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