Best Buy Pilot Program Sends Non-Geek Squad Techs To Your House

Image courtesy of Ron Dauphin

Tell us if this sounds familiar: Best Buy has a program that will send tech-savvy staffers to your house to troubleshoot issues with your electronics (while also trying to upsell you on new products).  It’s a service model the retailer has been pushing for more than a decade through its Geek Squad and Magnolia brands, but it’s getting yet another makeover in a new pilot program.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Best Buy has created yet another service in which it will dispatch technicians to customers’ home.

Somehow, this new in-home service is supposed to be different from Geek Squad techs visiting your house to setup and fix TVs and computers, and it’s not quite Best Buy’s Magnolia Design Center service that helps customers create home theaters.

The new in-home consulting service, which is being tested in Austin, San Antonio, and Atlanta, aims to make it less overwhelming for customers who are looking to coordinate the technology in their homes.

“We find that if you’re going to look to find a solution for your technology needs in your house, exploring online is one thing; exploring that in the store is another thing,” Best Buy Chief Executive Hubert Joly told analysts earlier this month. “Having somebody, an expert, come to your house and be able to identify your needs, how your family is using technology, but also your constraints … and then designing a solution for you and becoming a resource for you over time.”

Once a customer signs up for an in-home consult, the Best Buy tech will create a personalized technology plan and help coordinate with cable, internet, and home security providers. the Star Tribune reports.

To us, that sounds a lot like someone from Best Buy handing you a shopping list of things to purchase from Best Buy. Employees of a giant electronics retailer may not be the most objective people to provide guidance on which items are indeed best buys.

Those using the service are not obligated to purchase anything from the retailer, however, Best Buy hopes they do, as the pilot is just one way in which the company is hoping to grow sales and attract new customers.

A spokesperson for Best Buy did not specify when, or if, the program would expand to other areas of the country.

“We will learn from these markets over time before making any decisions on expanding to other markets,” the spokesperson tells the Star Tribune.

Best Buy tests in-home service to help customers figure out their tech needs [The Minneapolis Star Tribune]