Wal-Mart has started to sell technical service plans for setting up and using TVs and PCs. Rather than building up in-house capabilities, Wal-Mart will sell third-party services from N.E.W. Customer Service Companies.
My take: Wal-Mart’s move fills a gap in it’s offering; helping customers install the products they buy. But the ideal service scenario starts before a purchase and continues on after installation and setup. So Wal-Mart will eventually need to do more than sell another company’s tech support bundles. To sell higher-end consumer electronics, it will need to bolster its in-store service and deeply integrate support throughout a customer’s lifecycle.
With Best Buy and Apple boosting their technical support capabilities, consumers will increasingly look for more guidance and support from their consumer electronics retailers. And my research has shown that customers who chose retailers based on their service are much more loyal than those that are just looking for low prices.
The bottom line: High-end electronics need integrated support.