Robert Stephens interview round-up

Over the last few weeks, we’ve posted parts of Service Untitled’s interview with Robert Stephens, a VP at Best Buy and the founder of The Geek Squad. Geek Squad was acquired by Best Buy in 2002 when it had just 50 “agents” and today has more than 11,000. The interview is four parts, all of which are listed below, along with a short description of what’s covered in each part:

Part One
Link – Robert’s customer service and business philosophy, background and education.

Part Two
Link – The Geek Squad’s recruiting, hiring and training processes, about their uniforms, about the mix between technical aptitude, personality, and customer service skills.

Part Three
Link – schedule management, the common customer service challenges, what The Geek Squad is doing to improve, and more.

Part Four
Link – how The Geek Squad find employees who are passionate about both technology and customer service, how they gather feedback, how The Geek Squad monitors the blogosphere, customer service tips for companies, more about Robert’s belief that employees should “protect or improve” the company’s reputation.

3 Responses to “Robert Stephens interview round-up”

  1. Service Untitled » Robert Stephens Understands Blogs - customer service and customer service experience blog said:

    Apr 06, 07 at 11:36 am

    […] A week or so ago I read this post on Consumerist about Robert Stephen’s commitment to resolve any reader complaints relating to the Geek Squad and Best Buy. This was quite interesting to me. […]

  2. John said:

    Jan 30, 08 at 7:59 pm

    Geek Squad Customer Service
    I can beat your worst experience with the Geek Squad. In Oct ’07 I called to have a wireless network and range extender configured at my business. The tech arrived an hour late (as he was from the Ontario, CA store and they scheduled him a service call 52 miles away (and allowed him with 15 minutes travel time….) He configured and got everything working, including WEP. In three days it crashed. I called for warranty service right away. They scheduled me for first opportunity-3 weeks later. The date rolled around and noone called or showed up. I called again and ranted and they gave me another appointment for 5 weeks later. When the guy showed up, he took my extender and ethernet router out of the system and said, “you don’t need these”. The system worked for 1 whole day and crashed. I called back and got no response on hold after 29 minutes. I went into the Best Buy store in Victorville, CA and spoke with Geek Sqaud Agent Brian who couldn’t believe how I was treated and arranged for Charles W. (their business guru) to call me to schedule an appointment to solve my problem. The on duty Manager, Nellie also was involved. Guess what? A week later, Charles never called me. I went back into the store and spoke with Service Manager Johnny. He called Mario Gomez, Geek Squad District Manager and stated that Mr. Gomez could authorize the servce and that Gomez promised to call me back that day. Johnny also said he would call me back to confirm that Mr. Gomez had called and resolved my problem. Guess what? Neither Gomez or Johnny ever called me to schedule an appointment with Double Agent Charles W. I then called a Best Buy Asst Store Manager named Katie. She is a “process manager” and told me she was the “buck stops here” kind of gal. She empathized and scheduled Charles W. for a final attempt at salvaging customer service for me. This morning (three weeks later), Charles was scheduled to arrive at 11:15 in the morning. (January 30). Guess what? Charles never called and never showed up!! I called Katie and she stated that Mr. Gomez said that this ticket was open more that 30 days and the warranty period was exceeded so he canceled the service call by Charles. They never called me, never discussed it or tried to solve my problem. I have spent weeks (from Oct 07 until January 08) on hold–telling and retelling this story to Best Buy and Geek Squad manageres and not one of them ever did a thing to make it right. I will continue to tell this story to everyone I meet. Geek Squad is a rip off and is the worst customer service business I have ever encountered.

  3. Service Untitled said:

    Jan 31, 08 at 8:44 pm


    I’ve sent your contact information to the Geek Squad. They should be in touch soon.