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Give Geek Squad a 22nd Century Make Over

Status: Acknowledged
by mjfreespirit on ‎10-22-2013 02:01 AM - last edited on ‎10-22-2013 02:26 PM by Senior Social Media Specialist Senior Social Media Specialist

I'm not trying to insult the Geek Squad workforce, but it needs to be taken to the next level.

 

Best Buy should start hiring people to actually do repair work on-site. Most things are currently sent to the manufacturer. The only thing I see Geek Squad excelling in is installing bloatware and antivirus software. Everything else is sent out. Correct me if I'm wrong.

 

Best Buy should be a viable option for those graduating college. Why not? There are thousands of students entering the technology field each and every day, why not make Best Buy a competitive Tech environment to work in.

 

With colleges fast tracking degrees, why not offer competitive jobs to those graduating from them. Best Buy has the opportunity of a lifetime to create kind of service to it's customer base that no other major corporation does. Instead of outsourcing repair to the manufacturers. Do it in-house. It's cheaper, and keeps the money in Best Buy. In-house repair, of everything electronic.

 

 

Here's what I propose:

 

Geek Squad agents should be Technology professionals. Not entry level, on-the-job trained electronics shufflers.

 

Geek Squad should have 5 levels of personnel available at each Best Buy location:

 

  • Geek Squad Clerks:. These are entry level personnel who do not perform any work on any equipment. These personnel should be trained in taking proper Computer Triage Reports from customers for a diagnosis to be made by the PC Repair Specialist. The clerk should also be trained in Computer Hardware and Components. A Geek Squad Clerk should know the difference between a Sata Hard Drive and a Solid State Hard Drive and other hardware that goes into a computer, and be able to make sales accordingly. Geek Squad Clerks will be the grunt force within Geek Squad. They should be the ones that deliver.

 

  • Audio/Visual SpecialistThe Audio/Visual Specialist ideal candidate shall hold a certificate or higher level degree in Electronics or have cable or satellite television installation experience. In-Store training can be allowed in this position.

 

  • Geek Squad PC Repair Specialist.: The PC Repair Specialist will hold an Associates level degree or higher and Best Buy should prefer candidates with International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET) OR Electronics Technician Association International (ETA-I) Certifications. This position would be available at each Best Buy store. PC Repair Specialists shall have training responsibilities for Geek Squad Clerks.

 

  • Geek Squad Computer Support Technician The Computer Support Technician will hold an Associates level degree or higher and Best Buy should prefer candidates Associates Degree or higher in Information Technology. The candidate should have in-depth knowledge of operating systems,understand the concept of Desktop Support and programming languages. The Computer Support Technician shall have training responsibilities for A/V Specialists.

 

  • Geek Squad Leader (Information Technology Manager): This is the manager of Geek Squad Personnel in Best Buy Stores, and the person who hires, trains, and checks repair work. The candidate should have a Bachelors degree or higher in Information Technology Management, and desires to continue education to Masters Degree or higher.

So, now that we have these positions, what should we do with Geek Squad? MAKE IT A PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION! Yep. Put it up there with the likes of CDW, Xerox and other technology professional organizations who take care of the total technological needs of the business.

 

In-Store Changes Required for this change:

 

In order for this idea to be successful, Best Buy will need to change how it operates at the retail level. Currently in most, if not all Best Buy stores, customer service and Geek Squad are inter-twined and indistinguishable. It feels like Best Buy threw a penguin costume on it's former Customer Service personnel. Here's what I propose:

 

  • Like the Magnolia Home Theater and Best Buy Mobile, Geek Squad needs its own dedicated portion of the store, complete with it's own POS system, appointment management system for it's PC Repair Specialists.
  • Geek Squad should specialize in Technology as a whole. Technology is the core of what Best Buy does; professional-izing that in the services it provides solidifies this core value.
  • Becoming a technology professional would require hiring knowledgeable, educated staff who have the ability to create and retain a customer base. Hiring a PC Repair Specialist for a local Best Buy Store who knows their stuff brings repeat customers.
  • Compete with New Egg and Tiger Direct directly. Sell a wide variety of Video Cards and Memory, Mother Boards, Processors and other PC components of all types IN-STORE.  People go online to buy things because it's not available in store. Simple as that. The Geek Squad section of the store should showcase components, not computers. Displays should be dedicated to the latest NVIDA Video Cards, top of the line Corsair Memory and the Coolest Cooling Systems for computers. It should inspire and awe customers. The PC Repair Specialist should do a "Build of the Month" display where he or she builds the perfect computer.
  • Reduce the amount of repair orders that leave the store and go over-seas to the manufacturer to be repaired by providing professional, on-site computer diagnostics and repair. Simple.
  • Geek Squad service should be professional, geeky, and tech-y. Staff should be knowledgeable.

 

I see Best Buy's Geek Squad becoming SO much more. Let's get this suggestion to the right Corporate big-wig!

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Michael {removed per forum guidelines}

 

Status: Acknowledged
I should start by saying that most items brought into our stores are not sent to the manufacturer for repairs, but are instead sent to our own service centers to be repaired where highly trained Geek Squad technicians repair the units. I think the biggest reason we don't locate these technicians in our stores is due to the sheer floor space this would require most stores. As with any retailer floor space needs to be used for selling items. I can also state that we do our best to hire the most qualified Geek Squad personnel. Thanks for sharing your insights.
Comments
by mjfreespirit
on ‎10-22-2013 02:26 AM

The key points I'm trying to convey here are:

 

 

 

 

  • I would like to see Best Buy hiring Technology Professionals who hold actual college degrees in Computer Repair and/or Information Technology and Programming (web and other-wise)
  • Geek Squad agents should be pressed to continue their education. Best Buy should forge a relationship with an online college, and pay for training. Make Best Buy a leader in Technology. Simple as that.
  • Geek Squad Agents should not just be a mere employee of Best Buy, but Technology Professionals who should be respected for their knowledge. Best Buy is not a desred Career Choice. It's a stop over until they get to where they want to be. Let's make Best Buy a career choice by treating Geek Squads as technology professionals, with growth potential.
  • Utilize Geek Squad professional staff as a R&D powerhouse. With 18,000 employees currently working for the Geek Squad brand, a few have to have a good ideas.
  • Create the Geek Squad brand of computer. ACTUALLY MADE BY Geek Squad professionals. It's a wonderful idea!!!
by Senior Social Media Specialist Senior Social Media Specialist
on ‎10-22-2013 02:31 PM
Status changed to: Acknowledged
I should start by saying that most items brought into our stores are not sent to the manufacturer for repairs, but are instead sent to our own service centers to be repaired where highly trained Geek Squad technicians repair the units. I think the biggest reason we don't locate these technicians in our stores is due to the sheer floor space this would require most stores. As with any retailer floor space needs to be used for selling items. I can also state that we do our best to hire the most qualified Geek Squad personnel. Thanks for sharing your insights.
by Emerging Expert
on ‎10-23-2013 01:41 PM

Geek Squad when it started was a go to place for repairs and upgrades.  But I think BB has turned it more into a place to have your items checked for functionality before accepting a return.  My local Geek Squad however has some top knotch people in their squad and they do a lot.

 


GS does not fix cell phones or small electronics but nearly everytime I go into my store and I look in the Geek Squad room tthere is almost alwasy a computer in pieces on the work bench being worked on. 

by pcguysam
on ‎10-24-2013 04:08 PM

I am a Geek Squad Advanced Repair Agent in store, part time.  My full time job is as an IT Manager for another company.  I have made my living working with PCs and networks for almost 20 years. 

 

I do take exception to the assertion that we do not repair anything in store.  We replace hard drives, video cards, network adapters, sound cards, cd/dvd drives, memory, virtually anything that can be reasonably stocked in store.  The reason that we don't replace motherboards in store is that most mainboards these days are very proprietary.  Mainboards for desktop units can not always be swapped out.  And laptops never can.  I ran into this problem with a Dell desktop power supply where the OEM one was a weird size on a FULL sized mid tower.  Everything is proprietary.  Our service center is able to stock and order much more than can be done in store.  We do stock and replace iPhone screens in our store because they are so common.

 

We remove viruses, malware, bloatware, restore operating systems, load customer software(yes including AV products sold in store), backup data, transfer data and repair OS operation when possible without restoring.

 

On top of that, you just don't find places that repair electronics with a soldering iron and an oscilliscope anymore.  Integrated circuits changed that and that's not what IT is about.  Everything is too "disposable" and is far cheaper to replace than to spend the time and money to repair because labor is your #1 cost.

 

In our store, we have 3 awesome ARAs including myself(yes I just called myself awesome).  We all work very hard as a team to make sure that every unit that comes in is given the utmost care.  There are times when machines do need to be sent out for repair(although this only accounts for maybe 5% of the units that come into our store).  We're the guys that you don't see who are working the back. 

 

Next time you're in an Apple store, ask how much hardware they repair in store(and they only support 1 brand).  We support dozens.  If every PC that was bought or sold was a white box(generic build), we could do everything in store because it would be possible to stock everything.

 

I appreciate all of your points and some of them are valid.  Employee retention is a problem in any business, especially in the technology field.  You have to find a balance between churning the bottom of your employee roster to constantly encourage an influx of new talent while retaining your best people.  As a retail organization dealing with the average consumer, you also have to keep your costs competitive which starts with maintaining a manageable overhead.  The old addage, "You get what you pay for" not only applies to the employer/employee arrangement, it also applies to the consumer.  If your basic, home customers were willing to pay $100+/hr for service, it would be easy to go out and hire the best of the best, whatever the cost.  Unfortunately, most people want premium service for a bargain price.  In my opinion and at my location, Geek Squad lives up to that.  I know that's not necessarily always the case, but I do believe that Best Buy is committed to improving Geek Squad whenever/wherever they can.

 

If you read this far, thanks for reading.

Sam

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