Best Buy Canada's Digital Strategy for Customer Relationship

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Customer experience is a big deal these days. As the gap between sellers closes, it falls to a brand's ability to build relationships with its customers to set them apart. It's predicted that by 2020 customer experience will be the key brand differentiator — overtaking both price and product.

In fact, 86 percent of customers are willing to pay more for a product if they feel they've received an exemplary customer experience.

This is unsurprising. Amazon has made it almost impossible for competitors to compete on price, with any attempt to do so resulting in a race to the bottom that no brand can win. However, customers are looking for brands that can provide a more personal and human experience than Jeff Bezos's ecommerce behemoth.

One company which has recognized this desire among customers is Best Buy Canada. The multinational electronics retailer has been deploying a host of digital technology to help it build stronger relationships with its own audience.

Best Buy Canada

Best Buy is the largest and most popular electronics retailer in Canada and receives more than 280 million visits per year, of which 80 percent are digital.

As part of its mission to leverage digital technology to better serve its customers, Best Buy Canada teamed up with Bayshore Healthcare to create a new initiative designed to help elderly people live better lives and ease their caregivers' burden. The initiative is called Assured Living and it uses artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things to help people stay informed about their loved one's daily activities.

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Connected sensors can help people stay involved in their loved one's care, even if they can't be around all the time. In return, those people who require care can continue to enjoy their independent lives in their own homes, confident that they can contact support if it's required.

"Smart devices, such as a fridge or a seat sensor, can reveal a lot about a person's habits," said Senior Vice President of Ecommerce and Technology at Best Buy Canada, Thierry Hay-Sabourin. "We can use this information to alert caregivers and family members if their routine changes sufficiently to raise concern."

For example, if someone's family member needs to take medication on a long-term basis, sensors can be installed on their medicine cabinet or refrigerator. This will allow family members to check, via a smartphone app, that their loved one is taking their medicine when they're supposed to.

"This is an emotional journey where the caregiver can feel lost and may have to spend numerous hours researching their options," said Best Buy in a blog post. "Sometimes they don't even know who to contact to help navigate the healthcare system. They may also experience the guilt of not being able to provide the best care due to their own busy schedule and, unfortunately, home care services may not be affordable. To tackle caregiver burnout and the rise of healthcare costs in Canada, there is an urgent need for innovative and easily accessible solutions. That is why Best Buy, in partnership with Bayshore HealthCare, has created Assured Living to help caregivers and their loved ones."

Digital Support

The Assured Living initiative is an exemplary way in which Best Buy is building stronger customer relationships with digital technology, but the ethos penetrates almost every part of the business as well.

Take Geek Squad, for example. Geek Squad is Best Buy's 500-member-strong support department which helps Best Buy customers with everything from installations and repairs, to technical support. To help this business-critical department better engage with customers, Best Buy introduced a new platform that allowed it to send automatic scheduling updates. Geek Squad team members can access this platform via mobile devices, adding a further layer of convenience.

"With Field Service Lightning, we can optimize the efficiency of the team and improve the accuracy of when an agent is due to visit a customer," said Senior Product Owner for Best Buy Canada, Greg Irvine. "There are now fewer manual processes for our Geek Squad agents, which means they can spend more time helping customers resolve their technical issues. The Geek Squad also uses LogMeIn, a Salesforce AppExchange solution, to enable remote access and diagnostics on customer devices."

It can be incredibly frustrating when our technology goes wrong. However, with real-time scheduling updates and the ability to remotely access devices and diagnose issues without the customer even needing to leave their home will go a long way towards mitigating that frustration.

Final Thoughts

Best Buy Canada is making huge waves in the digital space to not only improve the way it serves its customers but also make lives better for people outside of the traditional seller/buyer dichotomy.

You can hear Best Buy Canada's Director of Ecommerce, Brendan Toupin, speak at eTail Canada 2020, taking place in May at the Hyatt Regency Toronto, ON.

Download the agenda today for more information and insights.

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