by Songyi Zhang
Geek squad—what a funny name! When I first encountered the name three years ago, I thought to myself who were these geeks driving a black-and-white Volkswagen Bug on the street. I was attracted by the cute car as much as the name.
When it comes to repairing computers, America is nowhere as convenient as in China. It is difficult for me to find credible independent repairman in America. Basically, if you want good service, you have to go to a big electronic merchant like Best Buy. I know the American labor is ten times more expensive than Chinese labor. But to keep my peace of mind I have to turn to Best Buy to solve the recent breakdown of my laptop. There I had my first experience with Geek Squad service.
It took me a week—longer than what Geek Squad had promised—to get my laptop fixed. Just tracking the status of the repair was a nuisance. I could not get the updates on the Internet. Nor could I talk to a representative on the phone regarding the problem. Eventually I had to visit the store for a face-to-face inquiry. That seemed to be the most effective means. I learned that my laptop was fixed the day before and nobody bothered to notify me. Great!
I thought that would be the end of my association with Geek Squad. But not yet. A few days ago my laptop had some glitches. I remembered I had signed up the Geek Squad protection plan which allowed me to resort to them online. So I gave it a try and connected with a technician named Russell K.. We exchanged instant messages through a conversation box on the screen. Then Russell began to remotely control my laptop. I had no idea how he did it but I could see the cursor was moving on the desktop, as if it was commanded by an invisible man. The whole process fascinated me.
In half an hour, my laptop was in good shape again. My online experience with Geek Squad was utterly different from my previous time in the store. It was more efficient and effective than expected. Is this how Best Buy tries to attract the customers by providing good online service? The company is under some stress in recent years. The prospective customers would rather scan the store prices on their smartphones and iPhones. They eventually purchase the same item online at a cheaper price.
New technology changes traditional shopping methods, as it has changed traditional customer service.