Will Amazon’s answer to the ‘Geek Squad’ help put Alexa in more homes?
There’s a learning curve for setting up, troubleshooting and using voice assistant technologies like Alexa. Amazon.com is now addressing that with a new in-home installation and repair service that’s reminiscent of the Best Buy Geek Squad.
Amazon has been hiring skilled professionals over the past few months to install and repair in-home gadgets, according to Recode. The company sees offering professional smart home setup as a way to reduce the number of returns of Alexa-enabled devices. The service, which is already live in seven markets, comes directly from Amazon and is not related to the website’s marketplace for third-party services.
The section of Amazon’s website that describes the service gives users an opportunity to book a “smart home consultation for Alexa” and set up an in-home visit from an expert. It states that experts will install and customize the smart home setup complete with configuring settings and connecting devices to Alexa. The expert will also train users on how to control wired devices via Alexa and give the customer the opportunity to test new wired devices in-home.
Amazon’s move could pose a direct challenge to Best Buy, as the chain’s Geek Squad is one of its main differentiators. Best Buy’s recent turnaround has been attributed, in part, to its focus on Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and services.
Amazon is sparing no expense in trying to get Alexa into as many homes as possible. For Prime Day, the company heavily discounted the Echo and Echo Dot — two of the most popular Alexa-enable devices.
IoT installation and repair isn’t the only area where Amazon has begun to experiment with sending official employees into customers’ homes.
Last year, news broke that Amazon was seeking “Amazon Assistants” to carry out household chores in Prime members’ homes, indicating a plan to pilot an in-home cleaning and errand service as an add-on to Prime. There was also word of Amazon planning to roll out a service that would allow delivery people to enter customers’ homes to drop off packages when the customers were out.
- Amazon is quietly rolling out its own Geek Squad to set up gadgets in your home – Recode
- Build your smart home with an Amazon expert – Amazon.com
- Now Amazon wants to clean your home – RetailWire
- Alexa devices get deep discounts for Amazon Prime Day – TechCrunch
- Can Best Buy build momentum with new services and IoT? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will home installations put Amazon on competitive footing with Best Buy’s Geek Squad in the area of smart homes/IoT? Will customers be comfortable making use of such services from Amazon?