Geeks at Home With Best Buy Test
Best Buy has been testing a program with its Geek Squad where members get to work from home helping consumers find solutions to technical issues with their personal computers over the internet rather than operating out of a store or going to customers’ homes.
The program, which has been in test for six months, currently involves about two dozen Geek Squad members. Derek Krueger, manager of operations for the new unit, told Bloomberg there are plans to add 18 more people in the next month as the company branches out into TV and home-theater support.
"We absolutely anticipate supporting complex remote controls and calibrating televisions," Mr. Krueger told Bloomberg. "As consumers become more comfortable seeing the internet as a resource for getting services, we’ll be there."
Best Buy has offered consumers remote support in the past but the test program is the first involving the Geek Squad.
"This was a necessary switch," David Schick, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus & Co., told Bloomberg. "If you’re going to be the storehouse for technology and electronics, you’d better handle all of the service pieces yourself."
Discussion Questions: What do you think of Best Buy’s use of the Geek Squad to remotely help consumers with technical issues? Is remote service going to become more or less important in service offerings in consumer electronics? What will be the bottom-line effect?