Best Buy’s Comeback?

Would you rather go to Best Buy or shop online for the best deals? Most of us have become so accustomed to shopping online in the comfort of our own time and place. The internet has become a life saver for people who don’t know much about technology, in helping find out more information about products and finding the best deals. So, then why go to Best Buy?

Best Buy is relying on an employee who worked there for 26 years to help the business fix one main problem that has been bringing the corporation down tremendously, it’s customer service. Shawn Score, Best Buy’s senior vice president of U.S retail agrees that when it comes to customer service, Best Buy has let go. This is a big issue for Best Buy, mostly because 90% of its revenue comes from the stores.


Score says he has a white binder on his desk with a list of “pain points” which catalog some of the main reasons why customers walk out of Best Buy: uninterested employees and out of stock items. Ever since Score was approached by Chief Executive Hubert Joly, he has been improving the stores with the lessons he’s learned from running Best Buy’s small mobile outlets.

Some of the things that Score has been changing in the stores are mainly for the employees. He’s encouraged more sales training so that the employees know a lot more about the products they’re selling. Score began an incentive pay to reward workers for increasing sales and customer satisfaction. He made sure that managers also schedule employees accordingly, so that the most experienced ones worked on the weekends when the stores are the busiest. These fixes have decreased Best Buy’s loss to a certain extent, from $1.82 billion last year to $409 billion in February 2013. 

These numbers might look promising for the future, however in the long run, there are many customers like John Hopper who no longer rely on the advices of Best Buy employees for things he needs to buy. Hopper has turned to the internet for his research purposes. According to Best Buy, 20% of electronics are bought online. This might seem like a small number but when Best Buy faces its online competitors who don’t have high operating costs because of labor and leases, it is a big deal.

Score is attempting to bring more customers into the store and actually make a sale. While, the sales rates haven’t improved, their customer service scores have gone up. Best Buy has also doubled its shares but is this enough for Best Buy to make a comeback? Best Buy has to take a lot of things into consideration at this point. In class we’ve learned about the ten critical decisions such as inventory managing, human resources, intermediate and short term scheduling. Will Best Buy be able to make strong decisions for the future? Do you think that they’re on the right path, considering that their customer service is improving or will online shopping take over?


Video: – From last April.

17 thoughts on “Best Buy’s Comeback?

  1. I hear exactly what you are saying, Most of my jobs before I was 18 were in retail and these are problems that are faced by stores every day. Being able to manage your employees while keeping cost low and sales high is very difficult. While being at the company as long as he has, has given him knowledge and experience, it also can hurt to not have a new point of view to improve things. As good as employee customer service could be, people care most about what the product will cost them.So if he thinks that by improving customer service he will see an increase in revenue and take away business from online competitors I don’t think that will happen. Something I think they can do is to make their prices online lower then prices in store but to only offer delivery and not let them pick it up in stores like they do.

  2. Personally, I think that the lack of knowledgable employees previously will continue to affect Best Buy’s sales in the future. Just like the customer in the post, many people have already begun to use the internet to learn about technology improvements. However, if Best Buy can continue to manage employees better, and provide better customer service, the corporation may be able to change the opinions of consumers.

  3. I agree with EBoillot, although customer service is a large and essential component to the retail business, customers are now looking at other cheaper and easier options. Nowadays, most consumers do research online and look at reviews of products before purchasing them on sites such as Ebay or Amazon. BestBuy will definitely need to find a means of competing blow for blow against online/discount competitors.
    I personally enjoy going into a BestBuy store and browsing for the products I want. This allows me to get a hands on experience and ask for help if needed, but as previously stated most people do not do this anymore. In the end, it seems as if BestBuy offers an engaging experience and potential insight, if needed, for a slightly higher price.

  4. I understand what you’re saying about the importance of customer service and its influence on customer sales, however, I think that with online shopping driving the competition in the market up it’s going to be nearly impossible to bounce back using that lone strategy. With online competition prices are driven down, alternative choices are increased and before you can put your key in your car ignition you can purchase online, compare choices side by side, weigh pros and cons, research, and purchase only what you want without the hassle of dealing with salespersons. In today’s world we want it cheaper, better quality, faster, and we want to get it easier.

  5. Best Buy’s problems go far beyond customer service. Having worked at Best Buy for 7 years, I am well aware of there customer service practices. As a Customer Service “Specialist” we had specific rules to follow, which we would reiterate to the customer. If the news was not to the customers liking they would ask for the manager, who would then, at their discretion, follow the rules or make an exception. The customer service changes from customer to customer, which is why many customers have problems with Best Buy. One store will do something that another will absolutely not. Best Buy is hemorrhaging money on computers, televisions, and appliances. The only area they have good margins are on accessories. Most people buy accessories online because we can find them super cheap. Sorry, I went on a rant there, but Best Buy needs to find a way to increase their online revenue. What do people need to go there for? Can’t most items be found online or Target at a lower price?

  6. Although the idea of improving customer service at Best Buy may seem like a good idea on paper, it is going to be difficult to change the perspectives of consumers towards Best Buy. Rather than focusing only on the customer service side, I think that Best Buy should use a current strength as their advantage. This strength is their store being used as a “show room” store, a store where people come in to just look at the products hands-on and buy them elsewhere (the Internet). By cutting down their current stores to small “show room” stores, Best Buy will be able to cut expenses with a decrease in their space and the number of employees needed. Within these stores, the limited number of employees can be trained to have skill sets that include sales and customer service. With show rooming, customers will be able to see the products they want to get, and purchase them on the Best Buy website after. However, this will also include Best Buy promoting their website along with lowering prices to match online competitors. With online shopping’s popularity and awareness increasing, I personally think the best plan for Best Buy is to use their stores as “show rooms” and promote sales through their website.

  7. This post makes me think about my last visit at Best Buy. I wanted to sign up for a 2-year contract with cell phone company. I have never used Best Buy for this kind of service. I was very shocked how salesperson could not answer my basic questions about cell phones, plans, and contracts. I found out that there are some salespeople who are not trained right. My visit was not the first one when I could not get the information what i was looking for. I believe that one of the most important aspects is keeping customer satisfied and attract new ones. Best Buy should concentrate not only with delivering high quality customer service but also with measuring satisfaction and loyalty. I understand that providing great customer service is very challenging because customer expectations vary greatly.
    I believe that Best Buy will be able to improve their customer service, only if they start managing their employees better. In addition, online shopping is a convenient way to shop for many customers who do not have time to walk to stores.

  8. This is an interesting post. Many consumers are so into shopping for convenience, that it is hard to leave the house and do something you can do from your own home. There are also a number of benefits that come with online shopping, such as discount and promo codes; this encourages consumers to shop online. If Best Buy carefully takes the approach to understand why 20% of electronics are being sold online, and respond accordingly, I do believe they can make a slight change. But times are changing, and shopping online is becoming a thing of the future.

  9. I personally think that it will be hard for Best Buy in the future. More and more consumers turn to the internet to purchase all sorts of items, and electronics is a big part of that. It is becoming cheaper to buy electronics online than it is to buy them in the store. Furthermore, purchasing electronics online comes with the benefit of being able to read feedback from other customers on the same item or similar items, and easily being able to compare consumer feedback, product features and specifications, as well as prices at the click of a mouse. I personally prefer to purchase my electronics online than in store. I feel like there is much more information that you can get online about a product than you could get in store with a customer representative. I think it will be difficult for Best Buy to bring their sales up in the future, so I am interested in what the situation will look like in the future for Best Buy.

  10. Customer service is a very important part of all sales businesses. If the customer service is poor, customers are not likely to return. From personal experience I agree that Best Buy’s customer service is below par. Customers like me will be more likely to stay home and shop online, rather than go to the store and be helped poorly. Personally, I would rather go in the store and physically hold an electronic device before buying it. Best Buy is struggling but I think that working on their customer service is a big first step in improving their business.

  11. Although I believe Best Buy improving its customer service will help, I think they have much larger issues that are causing problems. They have a huge amount of overhead with their big box stores. They have also fallen victim to “showrooming”, which is when customers just go to Best Buy to look at the product, then they go and purchase it elsewhere. i believe their problem lies in the process and not something they can fix by providing sales training or improving customer service.

  12. This article does ring true to me. I have gone to best buy many times in the past and felt dissatisfied with the customer service there. I have constantly always been in question after I met with an employee(s). Never any help and always incompetent when it came to understanding the items there. I remember when best buy actually had productive worker who knew their stuff. It is good to hear that best buy is taking steps forward to improve customer service. I am interested to see how they will be in the future.

  13. This article resonates with me for a few reasons, primarily because I hate best buy. Every time I have gone into one of their stores, not just one location but multiple throughout this country, I have encountered horrendous customer service. I ultimately reached a point where I completely gave up on the company, and refused to buy from them whether virtually or in the flesh. Still, this is a wonderful idea in terms of operations management and its overall affect on an organization. In an industry that is sales driven, it should seem rather blatant that informed, trained, and hopefully skilled sales employees would be the best options for labor force. Yet in an age where these jobs are deemed undesirable or relegated off to those who lack these skills, we are left with detached employees who behave as if they are simply waiting for a check with no commitment to the company. On another note, I myself must be stuck in the stone age because I prefer physical shopping to virtual buying, whether it be for clothes, groceries, electronics, or anything. In fact, this is especially true with electronics because I like hope that the people selling it to me will be knowledgeable about the products!

  14. Personally, I think there will always be a demand for brick and mortar stores. Some customers prefer shopping in an environment that provides them the opportunity to view and test the products they are buying, all the while being face to face with store employees that are knowledgeable enough to offer advice and product details. I think Best Buy will be able to make strong decisions for the future because according to this article, leadership at the top of the company seems to realize their current problems and putting a focus on fixing them starting with customer service. However, online shopping will continue to grow in popularity as technology advances. Best Buy may need to develop business strategies on how to cut costs and create a stronger online store experience for their customers.

  15. The internet is taking away from retailers because there are lower overhead costs so they are able to give better deals. This is taking away from Best Buy so they are even going into internet so they can compete with them as well. But the problem with the internet is that you cannot try out the product at all. There is still a social experience that makes people go to Best Buy. But the customer services has to improve more so the costumers can understand the product they are buying.

  16. Best Buy needs to adapt to the new era which is digital sales. I think they’re supply chain needs to be executed with a better vision. They should operate more lean and begin investing heavily in the online game. People walk into the stores for an experience but end up just getting product numbers and purchasing online because they get a better deal. I would say to leverage the use of digital marketing and contract SEM specialists who can optimize their social and paid campaigning.

  17. From shopping at Best Buy i know that their customer service is not the greatest. I have talked to people who didn’t know about the products, and should not have been working in the departments they were. On the other hand, this not the main reason i dont shopt there, it is price. Why would i buy something from best buy that is 10% more than how much i can the same product on the internet for? Also internet sales are tax free so im saving over 17% by shopping online, this is the main reason i dont shop in their stores anymore, not because of customer service.

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