BrainTrust Query: Twelpforce
By David Dorf, Director of Technology Strategy,
Buy recently launched a new service called Twelpforce that
is aimed at using store and GeekSquad staff to answer product and technology
questions via Twitter. According to Bloomberg,
they will even be doing some TV commercials on the topic. So I decided
to see how this works.
first thing I noticed was that most of the Tweets were of the “hello
out there” variety, but that may just be because the service is so
new. It looked like there were tweets from both store associates as
well as GeekSquad technicians. There’s no rhyme or reason to the account
names. Some clearly represent stores (e.g. BBY1094), GeekSquad technicians
(e.g. Agent 13700), specialties (e.g. CameraJenn), and individuals
(Ingandela). BestBuy doesn’t seem to be limiting their creativity.
let’s see if I can get an answer. Below is my first conversation:
I kind of figured that the real-time nature
of Twitter would have gotten me a faster response than an hour. Nonetheless,
the response was accurate and helpful. In fact both responses were good,
but I wonder if there are controls in place for limiting the number of
responses. I could see getting deluged by multiple responses, and in this
case both gave the same information.
then I asked a follow-on question, but there’s no good way to associate
the related threads.
After two hours there was still
me at least, the Best
Buy forum is
actually better because I can have a conversation that’s captured in
threads. Plus, when necessary, I can send a private message that contains
more specific purchase information.
premise here is that a person has a problem and knows to send his/her
question to Twelpforce. In that case, I would guess the person is
probably already a Best Buy customer. But what about the customer that
just needs help? Isn’t that a great opportunity for BestBuy to find
and capture the customer? My next experiment:
seems to me that software could comb Twitter for opportunities to help
people with their electronics. This would be a great way to establish
a relationship with a potential customer. Best
Buy even recommends their staff do this,
but my question went unanswered. I have to assume either Twelpforce
is not searching on “plasma TV” or can’t distinguish from all the spam
really like their goal:
the brand promises with the knowledge of 150,000.
- Know all that we know
- Deliver and experience that
- Make a difference
- Blow you away with the latest
- Never leave you hanging.”
will just take some time for them to get it right. I’ll have to check
back in a few weeks.
Question: What do you think of the potential of using Twitter to connect
Best Buy customers to its GeekSquad and store staff? What are the challenges
to making the Twelpforce service work?
– Insight-Driven Retailing Blog
- Best Buy
Uses Twitter to Create Sales, Service Team – Bloomberg
- Twelpforce – Twitter account
Buy Connect – Tips & Expectations – Best