December 11, 2017
John Vomhof Jr.Staff Writer
For more than 50 years, Best Buy has been providing expert advice to help you with all your tech needs. Now, we’re going a step further by bringing personal consultation services into your home with the In-Home Advisor program.
The recently launched service provides a Best Buy expert to suggest products and services to help you accomplish your goals. The project size or scope doesn’t matter.
So whether you want a new home theater setup, updated kitchen appliances or an enhanced home Wi-Fi network, the advisor will customize it to your home. There’s no obligation to purchase and, best of all, the consultation is free.
Best Buy has more than 300 In-Home Advisors across the United States. We talked to two of them — Jeremiah Goldsmith of Austin, Texas, and Jessica Kordash of Orlando, Florida — to learn more about their jobs.
What does an In-Home Advisor do?
Jeremiah: The In-Home Advisor role expands on what Best Buy does already, which is to build relationships with customers, and help them understand technology and how it works. Our advantage is that we get to do that not only in a store but also in the customer’s home. We’re changing customer service.
Jessica: Anything Best Buy can do, we can make happen in customers’ homes. We’re able to create experiences they didn’t even know were possible. And we’re their single point of contact, so they can turn to us for all their home technology needs.
What’s the difference between using In-Home Advisor and visiting a Best Buy store?
Jessica: The experience is very different. When people go into a store, they usually have an idea of what they want. Where we step in is when people don’t know. They don’t know something’s possible, and then we go out to their homes and help them make that happen.
Jeremiah: If you look at where technology is nowadays, it can be complex and confusing. It has moved so quickly, even in just the last year, with voice assistants and home automation. We can really unlock the true potential of technology and the products we sell when we’re in the customer’s home, walking them through it step by step to explain what it is and how it works.
Do In-Home Advisors specialize in specific product categories or do they cover everything?
Jeremiah: I handle everything. We typically go out to a customer’s home to address a specific need, such as lighting or home automation or something as simple as mounting a TV on the wall. But one of the advantages of the In-Home Advisor is our ability to take the blinders off and assess the whole home. I don’t have to be the top expert in the store for every category, but I can be the customer’s single point of contact for everything. It’s similar to a general contractor, where they know a little bit about flooring and a little bit about plumbing and a little bit about tile work. They’re not necessarily going to do the work, but they’re your main contact and liaison throughout the whole project.
How does the process work? How does a customer find you?
Jeremiah: A good portion of our leads come from store associates who recognize the need when a customer comes into the store and lets them know what we can do for them. We’re also gaining traction from referrals — customers’ neighbors, family, friends — and return business. And, of course, you can also sign up for a free in-home consultation at BestBuy.com.
What does a free consultation entail? Can you walk us through the process?
Jeremiah: When we get a lead, we’ll give the customer a call to schedule a consultation and have a conversation around products, budget and timeframe. Then I’ll call back 24 hours before the appointment to confirm, plan out our visit and set some expectations. When I arrive, I take care of what we talked about and then branch into whether there’s anything else we can do. If they choose to make a purchase, we can either take care of that in the home or meet back at the store to look at the products.
How long does the initial consultation take?
Jessica: It really depends on the client. I have appointments that can take 30 minutes. And then I have appointments that can take hours because they span the whole home, multiple rooms, everything from their network to their appliances to their home theater needs. Every client is a little bit different.
What are your favorite projects to work on?
Jeremiah: My favorite clients are the ones who have multi-phased projects across multiple product categories. They really appreciate that they don’t have to come into the store and that I know their house. And I know what projects they want to do next. So when they’re ready, they can just give me a call and button up the details. I think that’s where the IHA program really shines.
Jessica: I have a deep love of home theater and always have. I love the jobs where I can help clients with projectors and TVs and audio throughout their home. I’ve had quite a few projects in Orlando where we’ve done six or seven rooms, and they take multiple days to install. Those are my favorite, because my clients allow me to express my creativity when it comes to audio and video.
Is In-Home Advisor only for premium products and services?
Jeremiah: I take pride in that I can do everything — from something as simple as a router to a full Savant home-automation system. I’m able to help them out and explain the benefits of something a little more premium, but I can also take care of them at a lesser cost. Whatever the customer needs.
What kind of feedback are you getting from customers?
Jessica: Customers love it. Every time I go into a home, they’re like: ‘We had no idea Best Buy did this. It’s so helpful.’ They’re so appreciative, and they all tend to refer us onto their friends and neighbors. It’s gotten to that point where the community knows me as ‘that blond girl from Best Buy who goes to everyone’s houses.’ I think the possibilities are endless, and it’s amazing to be part of it.
Click here to learn more about In-Home Advisor or to sign up for a free in-home consultation.