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Best Buy Initiates Downsize of Employee Count, Including Geek Squad, Turns To AI For Customer Support

By on April 16, 2024 0 69Views

Best Buy has downsized its staff and terminated several employees, such as Geek Squad field agents, due to a decrease in business demand. According to sources, the move coincides with Best Buy’s shift towards utilizing AI technology.

The employees affected by the recent round of layoffs at the company included home-theater repair technicians and phone support specialists.

Best Buy CEO Corie Barry announced a “restructuring plan” in a February earnings call which included layoffs. The aim of this plan was to stabilize the company following a period of declining sales.

During the conversation, Barry mentioned that the reductions are expected to take place mainly in the initial six months of 2024 and will be distributed throughout the entire organization.

According to Barry, on the call, Best Buy’s main concern has been maintaining a well-balanced “field labor resources” to ensure that customers have the best shopping experience wherever they choose to shop. The company’s aim is to prioritize providing an optimal customer experience.

Furthermore, he stated that there should be a reduction in certain aspects of the company that are projected to have lower demand compared to what was initially anticipated a couple of years earlier.

The exact number of Best Buy employees who have been laid off following the announcement of the “restructuring plan” remains uncertain. Additionally, there is no information available regarding the number of employees affected by the latest round of layoffs as the company has chosen not to disclose this information.

The impacted and staff members will be given severance packages, and some may have the chance to transfer or reapply for positions within the organization.

Best Buy has revealed their new AI venture. In an effort to prepare for the future, Best Buy has recently revealed a new artificial intelligence project, after news of employee layoffs surfaced. This project, developed in partnership with Google Cloud and Accenture, utilizes “generative AI” to offer customers highly personalized and top-notch technical support.

According to the press release, Best Buy’s AI-based virtual aides will assist customers with tasks such as resolving product issues, updating delivery information, and handling software matters.

Starting in the summer of 2024, customers will have the option to access the “self-service support” through the Best Buy app, online, or by phone.

According to Best Buy’s chief digital analytics and technology officer, Brian Tilzer, the introduction of these advanced AI capabilities strengthens their dedication to providing improved and tailored experiences for their customers. This is achieved by harnessing the potential of individuals.

In addition, the company has planned multiple initiatives to improve its performance, and one of these involves increasing the efficiency of Geek Squad. The company’s plan is to further develop Geek Squad as a service using a business-to-business approach.

Geek Squad workers will eventually be transitioned to serve under Best Buy Health, a company that specializes in providing and delivering medical technology for in-home health care.