Amazon is Building its Own ‘Geek Squad’ Team
One of the major offerings that has helped Best Buy differentiate itself from Amazon as a seller of electronics has been their Geek Squad. Despite some recent legal troubles, the Geek Squad has built a pretty positive reputation over the past decade and a half as a great resource for consumers looking to get assistance installing their electronics or for in-home or in-store consultations.
That barrier appears ready to be broken down.
According to a new report from Recode, Amazon has been working steadily over the past few months to build an army of gadget experts that can offer consultations as well as product installations in consumers’ homes.
The offering, which is already available in a bunch of West Coast markets, has been quietly rolled out to this point. But new job postings on Amazon’s corporate website point to a more-national rollout in the coming months. According to Recode, the ecommerce giant is looking to hire in-house field technicians in cities like Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Houston, Dallas, Las Vegas, and Hoboken, New Jersey.
On the job listings, Amazon describes core responsibilities that include things like traveling to customers’ home for set up and troubleshooting, advising customers on products that meet their needs, and completing product reviews via blog posts and videos. The real telling line in the posting, though, is found in one of the preferred qualifications, which reads, “Experience as an in-home technician or retail store technology expert (e.g. Apple Genius, Geek Squad Double Agent).”
Wonder who Amazon is going after…?
“Our experts are Amazon employees, not contractors,” the company explains on its ‘Home Services’ site. “They have been handpicked for their technology experience, passion for customer service, and strong track record. Our experts are like your technology-savvy best friend. They listen to your needs and customize solutions that work for you.”
Amazon describes the smart home consultation as a three-step process. First, the customer books an appointment at a time that’s convenient for the customer (Amazon’s experts are available between 8am and 8pm seven days a week). Then the expert comes to your home where you can “test drive” smart home products through interactive demos and in-person tutorials. Finally receiving a recommended set of smart home solutions from the expert based on the customer’s needs and interests.
In-home consultations are free (similar to Geek Squad) while the installations will come with a fee (also similar to Geek Squad).
Amazon is definitely playing catch-up in the in-home support game—especially as Best Buy’s Geek Squad begins offering Alexa and Google Home tutorials—but, as with all things Amazon these days, we can only imagine where this new service will lead next. And if the early returns of what customers are saying about the service mean anything—95 percent of the 532 customer reviews are 5-star rating—they're off to a good start.