How Best Buy Convinced Me To Buy from the Apple Store!
by Teresa Spangler
For months I’ve have been investigating new pc’s vs. “Mac anything” … Finally deciding I could wait no longer as my current 4 year old Toshiba was choking and near death. My investigations have indicated: I am a storage hog, a power application user and a very needy graphics deprived soul. When it got down to it, for the things I really want to do, the money was nearly the same for either a pc or a “Mac-anything.” At least that is what the Best Buy sales reps (no less than 3 different ones over the months of investigating) told me. So I decided to wait it out a bit longer and buy when I was ready. There was no hurry until there was a hurry; choke-choke… black screen on December 31st 6:30 AM; ready to catch up on a few things for work, I had turned on my pc. Or NOT! It would not turn on. Weird screens popped up and then black! Crap, I waited too long. I’d back up most of my files in preparation of this moment and decided today was the day.
I will buy anything that jumps out at me, that is in stock and anywhere I am served well by the sales team.
1. Best Buy has treated me well in past but it had been a while since buying anything from them, mmmm, exactly four years. Off I went. I see the price differences between PCs and Apples again staring me in the face. Investigating once more the differences could not hurt. Maybe a cheap Toshiba for now is the better way to go.
2. Rep approaches and begins to share info and answer questions on the PC’s in front of me. I narrow down to the Toshiba, much like I have now but newer version. I actually decide to buy it for a split second then ask the big question: so why this over a MacBook Pro…
3. Breakdown on all fronts: the Rep goes into his own MacBook experience and how stellar it’s been (nice of him and I take this in). How if you do anything graphically oriented the pricing begins to equal out and the MacBook’s are hard to touch when you begin to add more graphic needs. Ok, I am back to square one, need to spend more money to get what I want on the Toshiba or buy the MacBook Pro.
4. The rep offers an instant decision maker on the Apple Products, there is 24 months no interest financing for any mac products it only takes 5 minutes to set up. I AM READY TO BUY! Our business account had been set up at Best Buy over a year ago but never used, I decided this was a good time to finalize the account, buy not only the Macbook Pro but 3 other products needed for the office. HERE IS WHERE THE BIG BREAKDOWN OCCURS: Oh, business accounts do not count for this special offer? That is a different process? Ok that is fine, let’s get this done. OPPS, not so “serving-fast,” there is an outside non-best buy employee, (a contract sales rep he calls them) that will call me to set this up? When will that happen? Oh, not today, not tomorrow, maybe not Monday? And, they do not live here? Why make it all sound so fast, and easy when it is not fast, not easy and not even really done with a Best Buy Employee…..
5. Ok, done! I decide done with Best Buy as it started to just become too confusing, not fast, more of a hassle than a time saver with good service. I ask another 20 questions giving them every chance today to sell me something or keep me as a customer even but all the rep did was ultimately send me to the Apple store.
6. Apple Store experience was amazing. I called to see if they were open on January 1st. Their business line took my message and I GOT A CALL BACK within 30 minutes, on New Year’s day!
Not only did they call back, Lauren asked me what time I would be coming into the store and that she would greet meet at the door as I came in. And she did. I was in and out in 45 minutes, bought 3 X more than I had planned but exactly what I needed for our business to grow this year.
What 5 Steps could be taken to Radically Change My Experience with Best Buy!
1. Come on Best Buy, your store looks dreary, your reps dress in dreary colors and it almost feels depressing walking in your stores. Color? Have you heard that Geek is cool? Allow the reps to dress more up to date? Or Cool up the dress code. Even if the dress is the dress could we put brighter smiles on the faces of the store employees…. They all look sad. It is not a look that says, I want to help you and we really want your business.
2. The idea of Geekdom may be out of date. With Apps, Pads, Pods, phones that do the work for us simplicity is winning out over complex systems. What can Best Buy do to simplify?
3. Free training, free set up… ok, maybe Apples are more expensive but they make me feel like I get a lot out of the purchase.
4. The reps are nice, they are helpful and they are honest. I find both Best Buy and Apple to have this quality about them. So if this is on par, the game changer is in the services, supports, the look and feel of the experience that I have with the rep. That is the work that needs to be done at corporate… game changing experiences. Online, offline, instore, with rep, without rep! I have ideas on this btw, if you want some creative strategies.
5. The online and mobile app experience must mirror the store experience. And vice versa…
Best Buy, I admit this is no easy task! I would hate to see you loose ground and not be a force in retail in the this decade. You are not alone either. There are many shopping experiences that lose favor with customers. I see retailers blaming the loss of business on the web sales. “Hello,” are you not looking inside all the Apple stores and the universe they have built? Even through the toughest of economic times Apple has prevailed!!!! The ground is being lost under your feet because there is no personal service, no unique experience coming to the consumer, the quality of doing business has been downgraded (airlines is such an example) and no loyalty to the customers you want so badly to buy from you and keep for a lifetime.
There is a very simple equation! Delight Me + Serve Me Well + Make Me Feel Like You Care + Great Products = My Undying Loyalty. This is true for any kind of business to business or business to consumer. Customers are simple in reality. We want your unconditional love.