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One of the best strategies that Best Buy implemented over the past few years was the introduction of the store operator job role. However, more recently this has changed in a sense. You can no longer directly call the store if you do not know the number, becuase individual store hours on individual store pages have been replaced with a call center number. Also, certain options that you press (if you do happen to get a hold of a store's old number) also get you to a call center.
The call centers are an extra hurdle and in my experience this labor would be better used in-store. For instance, I called a store [directly] to verify if they had a computer in stock. I didn't know I had been forwarded to a call center but when she didn't say "thank you for calling Best Buy at XYZ" and instead said "thank you for calling Best Buy" I asked her if she was at the store. She replied no but she could still help and I explained I see the store has the computer and they have 2 of them and I needed them to put their hands on one before I drive all the way over. She puts me on hold while she "gets in touch with the store." And almost 15 minutes later they don't have it. It would seem to me like it would be more advantageous to schedule more labor in-store around the S.O. role than have a call center S.O. do what I could (and was trying to) eaisly do and then play telephone (no pun intended) with me. This would result in reduced hold times and increased revenue and productivity around this position as well.
Just a thought.
I've had two negative experieces with Best Buy stores here and I want to start off by mentioning I'm an Elite Plus member so I'm not somewhat that frequently returns things but I do, however, spend money at Best Buy.
I think it would be in Best Buy's best interest to really get employees familiar with the returns policy and to avoid situations that pit customers against the company:
[for example] I purchased a MacBook Pro at the My Best Buy Shopping Event last night. It was marked as "scratched" and "missing a power cable." I figured for the price (35% off) this wouldn't be too bad as I have stuff to remove scratches and a power cable is around $50-80. When I get it home and start cleaning it up, I come to find out it's actually not a scratch it's a crack in the glass. Now the Best Buy employee told me to purchase the plan and worst case scenario I couldn't get the "scratch" out they would just replace it. This was incorrect; the protection plan paperwork states that Best Buy, at their discretion, may decide that the cost to repair the item exceeds a reasonable expense and can decide to issue you a store credit for the amount instead. In this case, I would be without a computer (because the store credit will be issued for the amount paid) AND out the $200 extra I paid on the service contract (because at this point, it has "done it's job" per say).
So this morning I made an appointment at the Apple Store to take it in to see just how much it would cost to fix and they quoted $900 alone for the screen and they also informed me that the body on the computer is "warped" which is why when I have it on a flat surface it has a little bit of a rock to it. Mind you, a customer service agent took this as a return AND the store misadvertised this as a scratch. After hearing that, I knew if it went out to service through Geek Squad it would most likely end with them deciding not to repair it and instead replace it and that means I would be without a computer (this same model would be 35% more at that point) and out $200 for protection so I opted to return it.
I purchased this computer over by where I work (about 30 minutes from where I live) and I tried to take it to the store right down the street from my apartment and the store tells me that "we wouldn't sell something like this, with this kind of damage, so my manager is refusing to allow you to return it here." And I'm SHOCKED (to say the least). Best Buy stores are NOT franchised - so the fact that they would pit a customer against the company (not to mention inconvenience me to drive out of my way 30 minutes to go return a defective item that they sold me - referencing once again that they are NOT franchised - is ridiculous). If one of your stores sells someone a lemon like this, another store should take the return because at the end of the day it's all Best Buy.
Similarly, I had an experience like this with an iPhone 5S. I purchased an open box iPhone 5S 32GB in Space Gray on launch day, as that's the only phone they had for AT&T. I took it home and I honestly just didn't like the color so I decided I would go get a 64GB in Silver (and mind you I purchased this outright). So Best Buy took no loss (they would have to mark the open item down again, but it would most likely be at the same price as before) AND the made a huge revenue gain when I purchased the new phone outright. I tried to return the Space Gray (mind you I had it for 3 days at this point) and the guy tells me they can't return it because it's "scuffed" - for the record, "scuffed" was pocket lint that got trapped between the case and the phone. Ironically, took the phone 2 minutes down the street to the Best Buy mobile stoer and they took it without instance.
Please train your employees on proper return policies and etiquette; Especially for Elite Plus members returns should be no hassle - but more importantly, if this had been a first shopping and returns experience with Best Buy it would probably be my last. You're not just competing with online retailers on price anymore, they offer phenomenal service. Anytime I've returned something to Amazon it's been without fanfare, instance or followup and smooth as melted butter. At the end of the day it should be about making the customer happy and making sure they have a positive experience because this is what gets customers to spend more in-store.
I've noticed that they recently revamped the Mac Accessory section in my local store and it looks great! There's a lot of new products, but I'm also noticing a lot of redundnacy. I understand in some instances (like with hard drives) redunancy creates value, as it offers the same product at different price points; However, overall Best Buy could do a better job on the accessories they pick for Macs; Here's some suggestions:
(1) Rain mStand / Rain mTower / Just Mobile AluRack ; If you are using your MacBook on it's on, it allows you to effectively "dock" you Mac while at the desk and use it at an angle [ergonomically] similar to that of an Apple desktop; If using your MacBook with a display the mTower allows you to stand the MacBook up side-ways effectively turning it into a "tower."
(2) Macessity Laptuck Pro; A stand for the Thunderbolt Display with integrated USB 3.0 hub and space below for Apple keyboard - great for the smaller home [office] workspace.
(3) KB Covers - Keyboard Covers
(4) HDMI to VGA Cable; would allow Apple TV to be connected in business conference rooms and/or classrooms where iPad adoption rates are rapidly increasing.
(5) Newer, more stylish sleeves for all MacBook sizes ("11, 13", 15") - may I suggest STM Bags Grip for MacBook, Hard Candy Cases Hard Shell Case, Moshi Codex MacBook Case, Tucano Stand Up Sleeve Cargo and/or Mujjo Sleeve and/or SwitchEasy Thins (Magnetic Closure)
(6) Belkin YourType Bluetooth Wireless Keypad; Bluetooth 10-Key add-on for Apple Notebooks/Desktops - great for home office, business, and educators a-like.
(8) RadTech ScreenSavrz iMac Screen Cover
(9) Henge Docks Horizontal Docking Station
(10) Satechi Premium 4 Port Aluminum USB Hub
I know Best Buy has it's own protection plans, but Mac users are a really niche group. I always think of us as "the water drinkers." If you've ever been to a restaurant and asked for a cup for water they almost don't know how to respond and you usually get this small bathroom dixie-cup looking thing. Meanwhile if you want a coke, the sizes are endless (big gulp anyone)?
My issue with Best Buy is the sales associates clearly don't feel comfortable with Apple products. Everytime I have a technical issue I end up waiting while a person runs around the store asking other people and the sales people mirror the same thing. If I ask a question and they don't know there's an uneasiness and they run off to go find an answer. I appreicate this effort to find an answer but at the same time you have to realize when someone is spending $1000+ on a computer, this doesn't put you at ease with someone "tinkering" with your computer.
For Best Buy, this is really a win-win. As it is currently, if a customer prefers Apple Care they simply buy the Mac from Best Buy and purchase the Apple Care online or through an Apple Retail Store. An opportunity exists for Best Buy to bring this revenue back in-home. The other plus to this is when you just down-right don't carry it, it looks like you're trying to cripple competition. Competition's good because it makes everyone better. There's an opportunity for Best Buy to create a white glove experience with their protection plans that may justify the higher premium. A comparable protection plan from Best Buy can be upwards of $200 more than a comparable plan from Apple. If you're not accident-prone you simply can't justify this premium.
I notice that the crew at the customer service desk is very skeletal - especially during the week. The issue that I've notice holding up the line the most is when customers don't have a receipt and the agent has to lookup the purchase and it's absolutely dreadful: people have 13 phone numbers the purchase could be under, they have a wallet with 6 cards and they're not sure which one they used to make the purchase on, etc.
Why not have a kiosk where customers can search for their own receipts (similar to the kiosk for trading in games). You could put in all the information you have - i.e. your reward zone number - last name, first name - or swipe the card you used to make the purchase and it could locate and print a copy of your receipt for you.
This would be a great time to start designing and testing it so when you have influxes in returns during and after the holidays you can really start optimizing the service desk and lower the amount of time peope wait in line.
I'm just addressing on behalf of a customer here:
I do agree to a certain extent that the return policies should be more visible on every page or at least a hyperlink on each product page that takes a customer to the return policy not just for Best Buy items but also for Market Place items as well. Customers tend to get confused at these things and the less guesswork one has to do, the more comfortable people will be shopping online.
Hello, the following lines are for a school assignment, but I believe they have relevance, so here they are. Our instructions were to pick a relevant US company and write the assignment in the first person, as if we worked for the company.
Best Buy: A Proposal for Improvement
Sound of Music, which would later turn into Best Buy (BB) was founded in 1966 as a record store. As available technologies and customer service norms changed, so did our business model. Since then, Best Buy has evolved into a technological hub where people can get music, movies, computing devices, electronics, and appliances. We started our online store in the year 2000, and we acquired Geek Squad (GS) three years later with more than acceptable results. As of 2006 our outstanding shares had reached their maximum value at 56.00 per share, while our most visible competitor’s (Amazon) share was about 35.00. Unfortunately, that boon period would not last, after 2006, the value of our stock declined to its current price of 26.00 while Amazon’s has climbed to 273.00. We made a series of acquisitions with disastrous results that drove the price of our stock to a low of 21.00 in 2008. By the figures and facts shown, it is evident we have two problems: first, our current business model needs to improve; second, we have an image problem. To change that, we prepared a few suggestions to modify our business model and, at the same time, improve our public image. These changes will eventually help us to increase profits and avoid excessive layoffs.
Size of Retail Locations
In order to improve our sales per square foot ratio, it is necessary to reduce idle space. The current initiative to reduce space to favor smaller devices such as smartphones and tablets is good, but it falls short in other categories. For example, as a customer enters a Best Buy store, he or she expects to see an extensive laptop exhibition area. With the current initiative, that would not be possible in some stores. Radio Shack already uses this strategy; therefore, it is advisable for Best Buy to keep a tangible differentiation. A viable option would be to modify the Geek Squad service to fit the need for less space. Also, in accordance to that idea, we could do away with the music CD areas by replacing them with experience sections with music available to be heard in multiple personal kiosks. Direct downloads would be available to customers, which they could execute directly from their smart phones or with a store code to be used online.
Our exhibited merchandise in the computer department is always off or password locked, preventing the customer from fully experiencing devices like PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Best Buy should change that policy by offering a more intimate and improved customer experience. That calls for the use of a viewing model similar to Apple’s, where the items in exhibition are powered and available for the customer to experiment them. This hands-on demonstration should include functioning Wi-Fi networks with limited connectivity to trusted sites.
Eliminate the fifteen day return policy and change it to a more consumer-friendly sixty day one for every customer. Thanks to Costco’s ninety day return policies in electronics with no restocking fees, customers in general expect a more generous return policy. Personally, I can attest that this differential in return periods becomes critical in considering the risk associated with purchases of more than $500.00. According to ihatebestbuy.com this is one of the most upsetting issues customers have with our store. Also, numerous complaints have been filed from customers who were denied a return for not being Premier Silver members (PSMs) of our Rewards program. PSMs get sixty day returns instead of fifteen. We believe that this distinction only alienates other buyers and does not do much to increase our efficiency rates.
Modify the ninety day expiration window in our loyalty program, or eliminate it completely. In light of recent consumer pressure, many stores have changed their loyalty programs so the earned incentives may carry over longer periods, or in some cases, do not expire at all. According to techjournal.com the push for non-expiration-date rewards began with American Express and IHG (a hotel chain) and later expanded to other industries such as airlines, grocers, and financial services. If we are to continue to offer a reward program, we should consider expanding the expiration date. It should be noted that low cost retailers in the electronics industry like Wal-Mart and Amazon do not offer loyalty programs. That may open a debate to reconsider to either use the program to keep our customer base happy or do away with it if a low-price strategy is to be followed.
End Outsourcing Agreements and Reconfigure the Online Store
According to Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, Best Buy’s online store is one of the worst in the industry: its inventory is scarce, return policies are not in par with the current market conditions, and its functionality is not even close to that of Amazon. One example is the simple task of adding a gift note to some item, it is just not possible. Also, Best Buy’s website is a laggard compared to those of the competition; a single task, say a purchase, takes at least double the time it takes at Amazon.com. In light of the facts described, Best Buy should end all of the outsourcing contracts at once; our online store is a core function necessary for our own survival and should not be delegated to third parties. We also suggest improvements to the online store focused on usability and ease of access. Additionally, the online store should include direct links with access to customer focused groups, for example blogs and open forums about the use of windows 8; device ratings (like Amazon’s), and direct online help for normal issues with new computers. Actually, resembling Costco’s concierge service, we could offer free use of the Geek Squad’s service for 30 days for new items. This would work as a trial and could increase Geek Squad’s sales by a significant percentage.
Surprisingly, Geek Squad is known to the community in general as an on-site service available by visiting customers in their homes or by having the customers visit the Geek Squad store. That is just short of the actual reality and is not acceptable; our efforts to increase customer awareness about Geek Squad’s great online help capabilities should be escalated. By doing so, Best Buy would capture new customers, achieve higher satisfaction rates, and more revenue. There are competitors offering similar services, but, in comparison, Geek Squad has a unique brand recognition that it can, and should capitalize.
In the last two years, a barrage of negative publicity from Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today have, without a doubt, hurt our image. Best Buy should hire a professional public relations firm and develop a positive costumer-centered strategy. Any positive changes and improvements should be reported to customers and consumers in general via publicity, news outlets, and marketing campaigns. If Best Buy is to maintain and improve its market position, a better image in the public eye is paramount.
The strategies outlined are centered in customer satisfaction and the use of more efficient revenue generating means. Customer satisfaction and good public relations are of essence. Best Buy or any other company, is nothing without loyal customers; therefore, our efforts must be centered on them first. Also, our current sales and marketing system needs a complete overhaul; that is true for our store-front sales; but, it is painfully true for our currently outsourced online capabilities. The adoption of the proposed strategies should put an end to our current downward spiral, and, in the short term, bring Best Buy back to its rightful place as market leader.
Disclaimer: The above lines were originally written for a business class, facts may or may not be exact, or may have changed. This is not a formal proposal and it is not intended to be. The essay is written in the first person for classroom purposes; I am not affiliated with, nor represent Best Buy in any way or form. The intentions for publishing in this forum are: 1) to comply with a class requirement, and 2) to add these ideas to this forum as others have done in the past.
I think that you should develop another insignia branded tablet. This tablet should bby windows 8 x86 based and possibly powered by amd's z-60 processor. This processor has on chip radeon graphics. This tablet may fill a niche market that, in my opinion has not been fully capitalized on. Marketing this item as a gaming or high performance tablet truly capable of replacing the consumers higher powered laptop or desktop would give you a product which is only available at Best Buy. This type of product may be able to carry a higher price tag as there is less competition for this higher power type tablet. This may enable you to grab a slightly higher margin in this low-margin category.
I need to know if there is a forum where I can share some revolutionary, paradigm shifting ideas, that if properly implemented, the products that Best Buy determines are the right ones, will with the proper approach for all practical purposes shut down that segment of Amazon sales that keeps Best Buy on edge.
The goal isn't to shut down Amazon but to determine what Products if handled properly will remove Amazon from that segment of the sales market. The ideas I have for the most part are primarily centered on a paradigm shift in what we used to call customer care and it is something that online sellers like Amazon are by their very nature stuck with the old model. I have a great deal of experience (practical) in this area that has to do with how Best Buy will re-create a whole new concept of genuinely "connecting" with the customer.
If Best Buy were to determine that this would be an approach to business that it wants to pursue, it would also mean that Best Buy will have to decide what products will fit this new model and the rest Amazon is free to have. Right up front we can all agree that Best Buy will not be selling Bathing Suits! And items that are peripheral to the bigger money making products that Best Buy must identify, Best Buy will then gone on to research these items that companies like Amazon will sell and can guide "Their Customer" to that link which will save them money; money Best Buy isn’t after.
So If you are interested Best Buy, I believe that survival will be a thing of the past an competition will not be an issue, for Best Buy alone, is the only "Store Standing" that can make this happen; shut down the Amazon's and therefore gone is the constant effort to continually redefine yourself primarily by reacting. Discovering what you know you can be the best at, with a determined passion to pursue that one thing that you know you can do better than anyone else as you create a connection with your customers will set you apart and Amazon will no longer be a foe to contend with.
I will stop hear and would be willing to share with Best Buy how this is all within your reach. It is exciting to think about it and I hope to interact with those that are serious about the bigger purpose, not just someone taking a few items here and there and trying to implement them without ownership of the necessary concepts, and without the needed and driving passion.
I live and worked in Taiwan, China, and Nepal for 17 years and when I watched the special on Best Buy- the Box store, and saw how you opened four stores in China and then explained away each one's failure by saying it was a good learning situation, I watched the show again and took notes and drafted a document as to why it was obvious from the beginning you were going to fail; Best Buy's response to that failure spelled a shrinking, not a growing group of loyal customers. I said to myself, had they simply called me and said, "This is what we are thinking of doing in China", I would have said you are going to fail if this is how you plan to proceed.
I hope to hear from someone that has the authority to not only entertain the strategies I will share, but also has the necessary connections to bring these ideas to those that are interest in a long over-due paradigm shift.
Thank you and know that my greatest motivation is to bring the customer and the company to a mutually beneficial place. I have had enough of quality stores having to close their doors as the Amazon's have, via massive "quantities" has appealed to customer greed offering prices that business’s cannot offer, and it is done at the expense of something each of those customers really values more.
I realize the title of my posting may be a little bit crazy, or not understandable, but one of the companies Best Buy owns, Future shop has their online forums tied into their website that allows a guest when browsing the site , to ask a question. The question then comes onto the forums, and people have a chance to answer and vote on it. The one with the most votes at the end of the "Kudoing" gets marked as a good answer and the reply is sent back to the anonymous guest.
I can see where this system can get abused by spam, and lots of people hate to use those god awful reCaptcha systems, but forums integration with the Best Buy site, would be a pretty neat next step for how BestBuy.com functions.
It's become clear confirmed by local employees at my local Best Buy Store that they won't be carrying physical game discs anymore because their research led to believe that people download games more then buy them on disc
That is fine, as I don't have anymore room for them to be honest. But Best Buy has potential in their download platform and not everyone can use a credit card online to use your services. I remember back in the day purchasing a new game along with a new computer. Don't think this is possible anymore.
Also, maybe partner up with the digital gaming service STEAM and sell Steam Wallet Vouchers people can purchase in the store and load into their wallet so they don't have to use their credit cards online.
Please continue to be my store of digital technology awesomeness and give more love to PC Gamers.
What do you experience when shopping in Best Buy vs. What you experience when you shop at BestBuy.com?
I come into this having worked for Best Buy for almost 6 years throughout college. I enjoyed working in the store, made a lot of friends, and met some wonderful people. I believe that with these certain times, the webpage should reproduce what is it like inside of a store.
I know a lot of people shopping online "already know" what they are looking for, but I also know that there are many who have no idea what they are buying/ purchasing, or how to use it, etc.
The experience when you go to a store is friendly, unbiased, and knowledgeable information on the3 subject, product, or service that Best Buy provides to the consumer - this is not matched with the BestBuy.com experience.
I feel as though the website is secondary to the brick and mortar store, which it used to be like that, but with the changes in the economy, adding a feature to the webpage to become more useable, as well as unique. And being unique is not only what Best Buy prides itself on, but it would also help pull itself away from competitors online.
The way i could see this being incorporated into the webpage is providing an image of a salesperson on the side of the page saying "Anything I can help you with?" or "What can I help you find?" or another attention grabber that states "I am here to help you with whatever yo uare doing on the webpage"
This image is then linked to a system that provides a sales representative, by messaging system/ phone system/ email system/ video system. Bringing the knowledgeable consultant to the webpage.
These Online Sales Consultants will ask the same questions they would to the consumer if said consumer was in store, unbiased information provided, with links to items, or if you want to go crazy, even provide external links as sources.
The consultants could work from home, or from a new office, and could be moved from store positions into these new roles.
Only thing is, Best Buy must ensure that they are knowledgeable on all types of products, or have it departmentalized as it is in-store.
I am not saying to give up on your brick and mortar stores, i believe they do have promise in the future and some roles may change in that, but this online update would bring that same friendly, knowledgeable service to web users.
People looking for help can get the help they need, those not looking for help do not have to click the link/ image to speak with a representative, and also don't feel like they are being forced to use a representative.
What does the internet/ Best Buy think of this? Let me know! I'd love to hear your thoughts!
One of the most important reasons that amazon is expanding dramatically is its low prices of almost everything. Why amazon can sell many goods with nearly zero profit? Because there are thousands of vendors who pay 10-20% commission in its marketplace. Newegg, one of the largest online electronics vendors, just opened its marketplace to individual sellers. Give more choices to customers and they will spend more time in your store, no matter it's online or physical. Please contact me if you are interested in more discussions. Thank you.
So as a Best Buy Employee from the moment I have joined, I never stop finding myself creating things that not just have benefited my district but my store.
With the great success of all my ideas, I've had a primary focus of the customer end of our business. Its what drives me. However this idea, isn't something I can start at my store level like everything else. It pretty much has to come from above.
My Idea is the emails to customer about weekly deals. The concept is that we tailor our emails to the customer and provide services based off that purchase.
Similar to Apple's and Amazon's Model, we have what they don't. Solutions. For Ex.
I purchase Macbook Pro at Apple Store. I am sent an email specifically tailored to my purchase with info and start guides about it.
If we followed that model we could better achieve customer satisfaction not just online but instore with these emails providing information and what other customers have bought with it and quick guides we have on our bestbuy.com site. This can go hand in hand with tablet video trainings we have when some one buys a tablet. (Makes sense doesn't?)
Following off that Amazon's great model is its special deals. However Best Buy won't be able to match some of those offers and lets face it. However If we tailored customer purchases with deals they could get for their product in an email. That, would be a great benefit for the customer.
I don't shop for TV's. So when I get a "Great Deal on TV's". Frankly, it doesn't tailor to my benefits. However sending me emails about deals on External Hard Drives and Flash Drives. Well then as a customer I would know more deals for something I would want.
Problem with our current model is that its generic. That sucks. If I treat customers I interact with a unique tailoring to what they need then why not their emails?
Bottom line, my proposal is we change our email delivery system not by generic email's but by purchases and services based off the products. Even more importantly services.
Tech Support for a purchase of 2 PC's and a tablet and it isn't on the reciept? Either it wasn't what a customer wants or they didn't understand its great benefits, regardless giving them the option to see their choices is us as Best Buy saying " We care, so heres how we can show you"
Best Buy is stuck, they are trying to do to0 many things. They need to simplify. They have what it takes to beat amazon, new egg, and other online retailers but they are using them incorrectly. There brick and mortar stores need to become shipping warehouse that allow for customers to still come look around. Shipping should be near free for all customers with a best buy within 30 miles. You could use local hot shots or train current employees. Set up self-checkouts for people buying media and quick buys. Focus on hiring persons with a background similar to that of geek squad. Focus on "wal-mart" business plan, mark all products at the minimum mark up for a profit, plan on selling more at a lower price, have a better social media and viral plan. People are going to miss you when you’re gone; you need to remind them why. Make all of your inventories available (and updated daily) on places like google shopping and your own website. Bundle. Make sure your weekly sales are making it on sites like slickdeals.