On Tuesday there was a need to acquire a flash drive at work. I asked where the nearest store was carrying these items. Best Buy. So I quickly drove there.
I was greeted by someone who was standing at a station facing into the store. He said something like welcome to Best Buy can I help you? This was awkward because he was not facing us as we were walking in to the store. After selecting a drive, I wanted to hurry to the checkout. I saw a desk where there were cash registers and employees. So I stood there. And I stood there. The reason, there were three other customers who were engaged in conversation with those employees. It began to become clear to me, this was more than a scan swipe scurry scenario.
Looking closer, I see Geek Squad logos. Ah, I must be at the customer service area where they do returns or fix the product or warranty stuff. Then slightly behind me I notice about 5 checkout lines with idle checkout employees.
Having thought nothing more of it, I read this WSJ article this morning. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303684004577507033027128596.html?mod=WSJ_article_MoreIn_Business. Aha. Now it all makes sense.
Best Buy is now going to offer service and support. The article suggests they are going to emulate the Apple experience at it’s Genius Bar. According to data from ACSI, the more complex features a user utilizes on a smartphone, the less satisfied they are. http://www.acsimatters.com/. And Best Buy is in a competitive market position to take advantage of increasing customer experience.
Additional considerations for Best Buy on improving the customer experience.
1. It is considered polite to be facing customers when they arrive. Apple stores don’t have stations in the front of the stores. There are usually an employee or two standing at the front door to ask if they can help.
2. If I were on my own looking at say iPads, an Apple employee would approach me and offer answer any questions I may have on that product.
3. In the event I need someone to help me with a product, or I need a repair, I can go online to the Apple Store and book an appointment with the Genius Bar.
4. Advertise, Promote and Distinguish. Make every customer and potential customer know there is help with that product or device at the store.
Best Buy reported 1103 stores in the U.S. in their latest financial report. Apple has 257 listed in the U.S. on their web page. Best Buy has the advantage in number of stores and the potential to offer the broadest scope increasing customer satisfaction. And where customer satisfaction is increased, profits follow.