Amidst Amazon’s exploding eCommerce business, Best Buy Canada has continued to not only survive but also thrive.
In recent years, the company has put a much heavier focus on its eCommerce platform and the digital experience it presents to its customers.
This renewed focus on eCommerce was simply driven by customer demand and an increasing need for digital shopping options that is expected around the world by today’s consumers, says Thierry Hay-Sabourin, the senior vice president of eCommerce and information technology at Best Buy Canada.
“Our customers expect that. They say we want to shop with us on their terms,” said Hay-Sabourin in an interview at Salesforce World Tour Toronto. “Sometimes it involves digital. Sometimes it involves the stores. Sometimes it involves in their home. Or a combination of all of those. So we’ve been down that path for a very, very long time.”
Although Best Buy has pushed much more effort into its online shopping options, it will never relinquish the brick and mortar stores that have been so key to its past success and it still views its stores as a huge asset, says Hay-Sabourin.
What it is aiming to do is simply open up the options for its customers.
“I think the stores are one of our primary assets. Customers care about our stores. We created our stores as a primary venue to be able to explain and demonstrate the benefit and the connectivity of that technology to our customers,” said Hay-Sabourin. “But the customer journey today is following so many different paths.”
Keeping up with customer demand in an increasingly digital world is a difficult task, and having the proper tools to prop up your business is vital. For Best Buy Canada, some of the tools it needed came from Salesforce.com Inc. and those tools helped it create a seamless digital platform.
Its platform’s biggest advantage came in helping build an integrated support staff, all the way from online chats to in-home consultants, said Hay-Sabourin.
“The first more immediate area where Salesforce helps us I believe is to enable our call center agents to better service our customers so that our customers don’t have to contact us more than once. They don’t have to repeat their story,” said Hay-Sabourin. “Because of all the capabilities of the platform, the knowledge sharing that exists within the platform, one agent could pick the knowledge of another agent in servicing a customer issue that is new to them.”
One of the biggest assets that Best Buy Canada has created is its Geek Squad. This team is a dedicated support team whose responsibilities range from round-the-clock technical support, to in-home installations and repairs.
The capabilities of a CRM platform like Salesforce has allowed the Geek Squad to provide a seamless experience, all the way from initial contact, to product suggestion, to appointment scheduling, and finally to in-home consultations and installations, says Hay-Sabourin.
“Salesforce platform is also helping our in-home advisors going into customers home. Being able to make a list of the products that we would recommend for that customer. And then it provides access to this information for the Geek Squad agents that are going to customers home to install the products that they have just bought. So we understand the other products that they own, and able to just drive a better utilization and connectivity involved with the devices that are in the customer’s home,” he said.
And in the few years since this digital reimagining, Hay-Sabourin says they have already seen the benefits being reaped.
“It’s unlocked a lot of growth potential. So as we continue to build our total retail capabilities and platform, it’s definitely enabling new growth areas for us.”