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    The people you deal with through companies can either break or make your perception of the company as a whole. If you are unhappy with a specific service or product that a person is either selling you or supporting you with, then you blame the company. We see this mostly in retail stores, such as Best Buy, where you interact directly with employees at either the cash register or near specific products. These individuals have knowledge of a particular product and can help you understand features more than other employees on the store that are positioned differently. When you are greeted by one of these individuals, they are supposed to convey a sense of trust in their brand and that of the product they are explaining. Not only this, but they are supposed to help the customer by providing an exceptional experience from knowledge sharing till purchase. This also works similar with the sales people, as they are customer facing and can claim or lose the sale based on character, attitude, experience, technical competencies and the brand of their business.

    Best Buy needs to coach their employees on customer satisfaction

    It seems each time that I walk into a Best Buy store, I have a most unpleasant experience. Before I visit a store, I do research on the product I’m interested in, so when I walk in, I can make a quick purchase without hesitation. The second I’m about to purchase the product, the person at the register asks me about the product warranty, which tends to be a real waste of money. I always reject and then get harassed by the employee with phrases like “what is wrong with you” and “but….you need this” and of course facial expressions that could turn any customer away. From their angle, they are looking to make some sort of commission on this “suckers bet.” From mine, I just want the product, without paying extra fees. This clash, hurts both the customer and employee experience, as I think less of the overall Best Buy brand because of my experience with that individual. Every employee is an ambassador of the Best Buy brand, so if their brand is perceived as poor, the companies will have the same effect. After this type of encounter, the Best Buy employee becomes less focused, more frustrated and will have lower self-esteem for the next customer.

    What can be learned

    With enough customer complaints and surveys showing poor results, I think Best Buy should focus on giving employees other incentives, rather than push for these insignificant warranty’s. They also should examine who they hire, as the attitudes of their employees are negative and give off a bad brand environment. It should be treated as an opportunity for improvement.

    Dan Schawbel is the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm. He is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin’s Press) and the #1 international bestselling book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future (Kaplan Publishing), which combined have been translated into 15 languages.

    Posted in Personal Branding, Reputation Management
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