Best Buy Is On My Mind

I’ve been thinking a lot about Best Buy lately; for a number of different reasons. First of all, the recent announcement that Brad Anderson will be retiring as CEO and replaced by Brian Dunn caught my eye. I’ve been thinking about writing a note to Dunn (in my blog) with my recommendations. Look out for that in a future post.

Next, we just got word that Best Buy’s CMO (Barry Judge) has agreed to speak at Forrester’s Customer Experience Forum in June. It should be a great event because we already have some wonderful speakers including USAA’s COO and CIGNA’s Customer Experience Officer. Sohrab Vossoughi, design visionary and founder/CEO of Ziba Design will also be speaking. And I’ll be kicking it off with an opening keynote. Keep an eye on the agenda as we continue to plan content for the event.

Finally, I just bought a flat screen TV from Best Buy. It was a very positive experience. The sales person in Dedham, MA was great (here’s a shout out to Juan Julian Purdy). He was knowledgeable, friendly, and attentive. It’s not done yet, so I may add another post after the TV is delivered and installed.

The bottom line: I’m (currently) feeling good about Best Buy.

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I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey.

Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum.

My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers.

I am also the co-founder and Emeritus Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

18 thoughts on “Best Buy Is On My Mind”

  1. Bruce – I attended a conference last August where Brad Anderson was interviewed… what a humble and considerate leader. In addition, I’ve been following the work of Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson, authors of “Why Work Sucks, and How to Fix it” and the creators of the ROWE (Results Oriented Work Environment) which originated at Best Buy. Seems to me that Best Buy “gets” the need for companies to change to suit the new paradigm of consumer AND employee choice. My hope is that the importance of the customer “relationship” gets pushed to the retail floor. I spent 2 hours this morning surfing the internet for an obscure $40 part for my laptop. I would have bought that part on the spot if I had a “trusted adviser” at Best Buy that I could call.

  2. I’ve been doing a lot of work with Best Buy here in Minneapolis and one of the things that is apparent when you spend time in the headquarters is how collegial and positive it is, even in the downturn.

    They are making cuts, like most other retailers, but most of those cuts are within the HQ, not from the stores where there might be an immediate impact on the customer service experience.

    I hope Brian Dunn can continue to cultivate the same kind of casual, focused and friendly environment that has been at mainstay of Best Buy for the past couple of decades.

  3. I guess Best Buy isn’t only on my mind. Thanks Joe, Aleksandar, and Carr for your feedback. Firms that do well with customer experience focus a lot on employees; which is a theme in your comments. That’s why “Unengaged employees don’t create engaged customers” made it as one of the 6 Laws Of Customer Experience.

    Aleksandar: Here’s a link to the information about Forrester’s Customer Experience Forum; keep an eye on it as we continue to fill out the agenda.

  4. Best Buy was on my mind as well…..

    When the price of the camera offered on BestBuy.com was significantly less than the same camera available in store, I was mildly frustrated with having to enage the salesman to match the price offered on-line. The salesman readily agreed to match price and told me to mention it to the cashier upon checking out.

    What wasn’t expected was to see the same store employee approach my cashier and notify the cashier of the price I was to be charged PRIOR to me having to say anything. No hassle on my part. No delay in line for other customers. A courteous — “Thank you for your business” and the employee was gone.

    While simple in nature, service like this can disappear in the commotion of a busy retail day. This employee, not only left me feeling good about BestBuy, but also provided an example for fellow employees to follow. If BestBuy is instilling service values of this nature in their employees, there will be many others also feeling good about BestBuy.

  5. I just went through this experience at Best Buy. I went to the store to look at a new TV, and a BlueRay player. My integrated DVD/TV was on the fritz. The gentleman who helped me (he eventually became my salesman) took a great deal of time to explain the differences in what I was seeing in different units, to explain the pricing differences, and to make his personal recommendations, all without a trace of “selling”. Even when I told him that I would not make a purchase that day (which was true when I said it), he continued to not only answer questions that I did not know I had, he even deferred other customers to another gentleman so he could continue to provide my service. It was a great experience. It turns out that he is a customer of my company, and he feels very positively about us, which was clear from the detail he relayed about his experience with one of our products. I ended up purchasing the TV, the BlueRay, and installation. I have been through the install by the Geek Squad; they were very professional, and did a great job (including covering their feet when they came in from the muddy outdoors). The entire experience was great, and it reminded me (again) of why all my personal technology dollars have been spent at Best Buy for the past 7 years…

    1. Bill: Happy to hear about your good experience. Your comment is very timely. My TV was delivered and installed by Geek Squad today. They did a great job; even showed up when they said they would. Nice job Best Buy!

  6. @ Bruce, Bill & John: Please make sure to relay your positive views via the bestbuycares.com feedback site. Even if you don’t have the names of those folks that delivered the high level of service, they need to get all the feedback you can provide.

  7. Best Buy is on my mind as well, only in a very different perspective.
    Having been a long time consumer and researching their message forums, they will be in trouble soon if they do not change their ways and dealing with customers. Unfortunately I am one of them that they chose to not honor my extended warranty and really ran me around the bush. I will not bore you with all of the details yet their practices are really going under. A. They threaten to call the police to much on their customers. B. They humiliate their customers. C. They can not keep telling their customers that they do not care how much they spend in their store. They are letting kids run their stores. Yes they are exciting and innovative, yet they lack the skills, experience etc…as to what it takes to run a very huge business.

  8. My wife and I had a wonderful experience at Best Buy last night.
    About a year ago we bought a couple of cell phones at Best Buy. We only wanted to be able to call each other so our needs were very simple. On our last trip to Las Vegas one of them wouldn’t work so we took them back to Best Buy to see if they could fix them.
    A sales consultant by the name of Pal Sebestyen asked us if he could help us. He worked on the phones for about an hour (taking care of other customers at the same time). He finally got them working correctly. And he didn’t charge us anything.

  9. Just tried several times to get online for the survey, but not available. Had some repair done yesterday to my Sirius radio dock. This was at the Wilmington NC location. The technician’s name was Vincent. He was kind, courteous and efficient. He worked me in since I live an hour from the store. Kudos to Vincent.

  10. I am really happy to hear good things about Best Buy. As a customer service representative. I do my best to help customers get what they need and help them leave happy. I also see the ugly side of people really fast. The main problem seems to be that people come in expecting the worst. When they are told that we cannot return a stack of DVDs that they bought last december for cash back, they become angry and start ranting about how much they spend at the store and who they’re going to tell about this experience. These are the people I have been reading about today. I can say that this type of experience only happens every so often, but it is the main thing I read about online. It really upsets me that people who have good opinions of Best Buy do not feel the need to tell other people about it. The proportion of complaints to compliments online is not the same as what I experience in my store. Thank you all for letting me know that my efforts are not going to waste.

    1. Hi Rachael: I just finished some research which shows that people tell more people about a bad experience than a good one. That’s too bad, because good things don’t get enough exposure. I’m sure your customers are thankful for your help. Thanks for commenting.

  11. I was helped by a thoughtful, courteous, and very knowledgeable staff at the Jacksonville, NC store on August 17th, he went beyond his regular duties to answer my questions and also added other information as input. His name is MR. Nate LaRosa. He is a very valuable asset to your company. I hope you allow him to fulfill his desires in growth at the store.

    Sincerely,

    Susie Cho

  12. I wanted to let the management of Best Buy Augusta GA. Walton Way know about what two wonderful and helpful customer service assoicates I had the pleasure of dealing with over this past weekend. Laura and Tisha. They answered my question with knowledge and courteousy. They took care of me and others, In a long line, with a smile on their faces. I have bought from Best Buy for years and will continue to use your company and tell others about you. It is refreshing in these troubled times too know there are still companies that have such wonderful emplyees. As Sam Walton once said; ” If you can’t give good products at fair prices and customer service, you want be in business very long”.Keep up the good work. I will be back soon !!

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