In Forrester’s Customer Experience Index, 2007, Best Buy was ranked #34 out of 112 firms — and 23rd out of 27 retailers on the list. That’s clearly not the best buying experience. But Best Buy is doing something about it.
In a recent press release from Best Buy, the retailer described what it had learned from a phone survey of 1,008 consumers. Here’s an excerpt…
… the factors consumers consider very or somewhat important include the return policy (92 percent) and the ability to speak to someone live when calling the store rather than hearing an automated message (91 percent). Other important elements include: customer assistance to help throughout the store (89 percent) and a helpful, easy-to-use Web site (70 percent).
In response to this insight, Best Buy also announced some new initiatives like:
- Converting 30% of its floor personnel to a new position called “Customer Assistant” that are cross-trained to help customers across all categories in the store and will work with “BlueShirts” who have deep knowledge in specific categories.
- Extended return policy that allows anything purchased after November 4th to be returned by January 31st. Best Buy hopes to remove the stress of holiday gifting by defining a specific date instead of a specific window (e.g., 14 days from purchase).
- More Spanish language content in its Website (see BestBuy.com/espanol), in its call centers, and multilingual sales associates and signage in some stores. It is also adding Spanish language gift cards.
My take: You can always learn a lot from asking customers what they need, like, and want (which is why I push firms to develop a solid voice of the customer program). I’ll bet that many retailers would find that their customers want the same type of things as Best Buy customers — a clear return policy that works for holiday gift-giving, access to helpful employees, and an easy-to-use Website. Why not give it to them?!?
The bottom line: Your customers deserve the best buying experience.