Maybe Best Buy Would Compete Better If Their Employees Acknowledged Customers

Ryan wanted to buy a tablet, but he’s in the Northeast and couldn’t expect a delivery to show up reliably while his region is getting smacked by a massive Frankenstorm. He took the opportunity to try to buy the tablet he desired in person. Where he lives, the main place to buy electronics is Best Buy, which had the Asus Transformer Infinity in stock. Should be simple enough: go to the store, buy the tablet, then come home and play with the tablet. Right?

I recently decided to purchase an Asus Transformer Infinity. Normally I’d make this purchase online however it was Friday and I live on the East coast in the past of Sandy which would make getting it delivered early next week difficult. Checking online I found that the local Best Buy had everything in stock. Out of impatience I went to the Best Buy in [redacted], NY (store [redacted]). I quickly found the model Asus Transformer Infinity, the model dock/keyboard and screen protector. Although I found the models the actual merchandise was nowhere to be found. After a short look around the tablet/laptop area I stood in front of the model hoping to attract some attention. After about 5 minutes no one offered any assistance and the blue/pink/green shirts scrambling around all seemed preoccupied. So I did another lap around the area hoping to either attract attention or find what I was looking for, then went back to the model and waited, and repeat a few more times. After about 15 minutes of no help I was running quite low on patience.

From many of the articles in the news in the past few years Best Buy has been faced with numerous issues one of which is competition from online retailers. Quite often the point is raised people go to Best Buy and try out products then go online to buy them. The one advantage that Best Buy has is personalized service face to face.

So after 15 minutes I break out my phone and go online. At this point I think at the very least this should draw the attention of any employee within eyesight. If the biggest threat to Best Buy is online sales then it would be policy that if a customer has a phone out then they need immediate attention in order to try to make the sale in person. Over the course of the next 8 minutes I visit a few online retailers and at no point does any employee make any contact with me. Ultimately I made my purchase at Amazon.

In conclusion the lack of customer service I received cost Best Buy a sale of about $700 for the Infinity and accessories. I am now thinking that the articles were wrong about why people are ordering products online. It isn’t that they visit Best Buy to try them out and then order online, it is they go to Best Buy to buy them but no employees will approach them and make the sale. I’d suggest a policy that employees who see a customer on a smartphone approach that customer and offer aid as quickly as possible in order to win that customers business. Thank you for your time, even though I feel like Best Buy wasted mine.

Well, that’s probably overkill – in any given place in the modern Western world, there are lots of people standing around fiddling with their smartphones. We could even be optimistic and wonder whether some customers are ordering things for in-store pickup from their smartphones. Especially if the in-store employees aren’t stirring to help.