Best Buy (BBY) CEO Hubert Joly sees employee training as a key to keeping the retail chain's...


Best Buy (BBY) CEO Hubert Joly sees employee training as a key to keeping the retail chain's sales from slumping further. Part of the Joly's plan is to press the human factor with consumers to make Best Buy perceived as the ultimate point of reference for consumer electronics.

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Comments (18)
  • surfnspy
    , contributor
    Comments (406) | Send Message
     
    Finally! Everyone knows the biggest problem with BBY are the kids milling around the store who can't answer any questions or provide decent customer service.

     

    Nice to hear Joly calling it like it is. Service trumps price any day as far as I'm concerned.
    7 Sep 2012, 09:50 AM Reply Like
  • billddrummer
    , contributor
    Comments (1761) | Send Message
     
    People have been saying that for years.

     

    Just not anyone from the C-suite.

     

    I am still unconvinced.

     

    Disclosure: Long BBY with shares purchased through the company's ESPP.

     

    Former employee.
    7 Sep 2012, 09:28 PM Reply Like
  • ChiquiLion
    , contributor
    Comments (24) | Send Message
     
    Don't be fooled by my gray hair...I'm not 17. We already receive regular product and sales training, and have for years. Please find some new material.
    8 Sep 2012, 01:35 PM Reply Like
  • billddrummer
    , contributor
    Comments (1761) | Send Message
     
    Neither am I, and you're right.

     

    So why are same store sales declining if the sales force is so well trained?
    8 Sep 2012, 03:20 PM Reply Like
  • bbystock
    , contributor
    Comments (37) | Send Message
     
    Sales training, not product training. I work for the company, if you think elearnings is training you are misguided. Honestly, how many employees can give the pro's and cons of various land phones from different providers. Homer Theatre is the worst. 720p isn't HD. HD is limited to wide screen TV's. Contrast improves resolution. When selling a TV, the salesman seem to make up things as they go along, or just point out the obvious.
    9 Sep 2012, 01:46 PM Reply Like
  • billddrummer
    , contributor
    Comments (1761) | Send Message
     
    I never said elearnings were training.

     

    As you know, I once worked for the company and the only time I was written up was when I failed to complete the required elearnings by their due time.

     

    Even though it was virtually impossible to do that with the hourly schedule I had. (Part time sales associates were guaranteed a minimum number of weekly hours [proprietary]; I was given the minimum number of hours for 3 consecutive weeks.)

     

    Training encompasses more than just spouting off statistics. It involves listening to customers and matching them to the best possible product/service solution.

     

    You can't get that from elearnings. Only from practice.

     

    As far as your comment about HT--720p and 1080i are the same, but to compare them to 1080p and say they are 'essentially the same' is wrong. And you are right, it sometimes seems that salespeople make up stuff as they go, just to fill a silence.

     

    In sales, whoever speaks first, loses. Pushy (read talkative) salespeople rarely do better than average. On the other hand, salespeople who put their customers' needs first are generally more successful.
    9 Sep 2012, 03:43 PM Reply Like
  • ChiquiLion
    , contributor
    Comments (24) | Send Message
     
    So, I take it you've not had sales induction training yet? And, not to split hairs with you, but I've been certified in D.I., Appliances, and Home Theater, and had MANY official trainings outside of the Learning Lounge. In fact, the only product I haven't had specific, hands-on, vendor sponsored trainings on is Best Buy's own brands. If all you're doing is reading the fact-tags, then you've not been trained. And yes, I speak from 18 years of Best Buy experience.
    9 Sep 2012, 09:48 PM Reply Like
  • billddrummer
    , contributor
    Comments (1761) | Send Message
     
    You didn't read carefully--I'm a former employee.

     

    I left the company in December 2011 for a better opportunity.

     

    And the only department I wasn't certified in was DI.
    9 Sep 2012, 09:50 PM Reply Like
  • ChiquiLion
    , contributor
    Comments (24) | Send Message
     
    We went through a period like this back in '96...everyone was saying Best Buy is a goner...low periods in a business happen. But, the company was able to re-establish itself, and put some new programs in place that got it through the rough patch. We are going through this again, and the economy being the way it is doesn't help. Just about everything we sell is either a commodity or a luxury item. Let's face it; nobody NEEDS a 60" TV, a PS3, the latest laptop or camera to survive. So, as soon as things start turning around, and those new thingamajigs start hitting the shelves, sales will begin to pick up again. Let's face it, when all you have to hang your hat on is 3D-TV, things are going to slow down a bit. There really hasn't been a lot of "must have" electronics, other than iPads.
    9 Sep 2012, 10:01 PM Reply Like
  • billddrummer
    , contributor
    Comments (1761) | Send Message
     
    That's a good point which I hadn't considered.

     

    With the amount of history you have with the company, it's clear you have a unique perspective.

     

    Which incites a question:

     

    What's your current position with the company? You seem to have an excellent grasp of history, and of what's needed to restore the company's luster.
    9 Sep 2012, 11:35 PM Reply Like
  • bbystock
    , contributor
    Comments (37) | Send Message
     
    Best Buy and retail stores are becoming obsolete. Best Buy's model for success in 85 is now a model fore failure in 2012. Best Buy stores have so much wasted spaced dedicated to CD's, Miss Kitty, etc.. And waste so much space with an endless barrage of TV and computer displays.. And you can get more knowledgeable answers to any tech question on online. Sure 30-80 yr olds still need to be spoon fed, and will dependant on Best Buy, but the next generation of buyers won't. They will be tech savy, price savy, and won't need anything from Best Buy except to look at the device and touch the device. It's a slow death, but is a certain death.

     

    It's pretty bad when a HT rep that knows little is training an appliance associate on TV's. I heard the, plasma, or a different tech, is effected by the lighting in the house etc.. Sound advice, but it didn't get any more advanced then that. So, what if a customer asks, is dynamic contrast better then static contrast? And what are the benefits and negatives of each? You, get a pause...Umm.. Then the HT rep makes something up..

     

    Solution.

     

    Close/shrink more stores
    More lay offs
    build smaller stores in strip malls like Radio Shack
    Focus on Phones/Tablets, and other sure winners
    Strengthen selling online
    Professional's who have experience with CS
    Professional's who have vast experience and knowledge with computers, etc..

     

    But Best buy is too cheap for the last two idea's.. The truth is, a young kid getting $9.00 an hr isn't going to know crap about anything they are selling, unless he/she already has a sincere interest for phones/computers etc.
    29 Sep 2012, 04:05 PM Reply Like
  • billddrummer
    , contributor
    Comments (1761) | Send Message
     
    The business model you're promoting is already happening.

     

    BBY has already announced that it will open 33 small footprint mobile stores during the 3rd quarter.

     

    I suggested the company closed too few big box stores when it announced the 50 closures earlier this year. I discuss this here:

     

    http://bit.ly/Nu9M4L

     

    and here:

     

    http://bit.ly/Qd8myH

     

    But you have some contradictory suggestions in your post.

     

    You say there should be more layoffs, yet want 'professional's (sic) who have experience with CS,' and 'vast experience and knowledge with computers, etc.'

     

    If you're seeking professionals for these jobs, what do you think they'll demand for wages? (Hint: Much more than $9/hour.)

     

    As far as focusing on 'iPhones/Tablets, and other sure winners,' I'd prefer to buy an iGadget from an AAPL retail store--staying within the Apple ecosystem from the beginning.

     

    (As an aside, Android based products would probably benefit from their own dedicated retail channel--hello, GOOG?)

     

    In any event, some of the things you suggest are already happening.

     

    The sheer size of the business is making the changes more difficult to implement than if BBY were 10% of its size.

     

    Then again, if the company continues to shrink, that may happen anyway.
    29 Sep 2012, 07:27 PM Reply Like
  • bbystock
    , contributor
    Comments (37) | Send Message
     
    Yes, BB would need to ante up more for professionals and they won't. BB also sees the benefit of tablets, releasing their brand tablet on November 11th. But, if this is their plan for survival it won't work. Theres a lot of competition with tablets, so why jump into that market? They should just sell other brand tablets.. And many feel the specs of the Insignia are poor.. And price matching Amazon is a catch 22.. Best Buy might get the sell, but will lose profit at the same time. & the price matching is only 2 months in length, and customers must ask for it, and it's up yo a sales associate to ok it.. A lot of hoops to jump through.. Plus, dealing with BB's poor CS and sales tactics. Joley is going to regret jumping on the retail version of the titantic. When a company this big falls it won't be pretty. I know more big box stores will close and there will be more layoffs..
    21 Oct 2012, 02:11 PM Reply Like
  • jimb1
    , contributor
    Comments (5) | Send Message
     
    Been there and seen that-I have visited my bby in Ft Lauderdale and am constantly amassed how they know as much as me-and believe me when it comes to technology "I need help-serious help"
    10 Sep 2012, 02:05 AM Reply Like
  • ChiquiLion
    , contributor
    Comments (24) | Send Message
     
    Bill, my first response was intended for "bbystock"; guess this board doesn't thread well. :/

     

    In answer to your question, I am a full time employee and not part of management. My first "interview" was with Brian Dunn back in 1994, when the company was expanding into Ohio. I like what I do, and I will attempt to guide employees who lack the skills of a professional/commission salesperson. But, I'm afraid my common sense style would not mesh well with those who believe that you must be formally educated in order to make a difference.
    10 Sep 2012, 01:34 PM Reply Like
  • billddrummer
    , contributor
    Comments (1761) | Send Message
     
    Chiqui,

     

    I have the same problem.

     

    In any event, we will see what happens. Do you think the management change is a positive one?
    10 Sep 2012, 08:34 PM Reply Like
  • ChiquiLion
    , contributor
    Comments (24) | Send Message
     
    I'm not going to pass judgement on a man who has yet gotten his feet underneath him. I understand he's a turnaround specialist, but not familiar with retail. So, I'm going to put a little faith in our company history and those placed around him to make sure he understands what and who we are, before he starts making changes. I think it's sad the way things worked out, but there it is. It's a first for our company to have a CEO brought in from outside, and I only wish the best for him...and ourselves.
    11 Sep 2012, 11:34 PM Reply Like
  • bbystock
    , contributor
    Comments (37) | Send Message
     
    Joley lost me when he said showrooming is a myth..
    21 Oct 2012, 02:14 PM Reply Like
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