Just over a year ago, Best Buy was in bad shape.
Declining sales and competition from successful retail giants such as Walmart and Amazon nearly drove the company's original founder to buy back the store chain for $1 billion out of his own pocket and turn it private, according to Forbes.
But since then, Best Buy has experienced a modest rebound, with stocks undergoing a steady increase for most of this year already. The company has found success by digging into its unique and highly effective social media presence.
In fact, the social media management and research service Conversocial recently released a report ranking online customer service interactions among 100 leading retail companies. Of those 100, Best Buy came out on top as the only organization to receive a full five stars. According to Internet Retailer, the study looked at specific metrics such as average response time when fielding customer inquiries over social media channels, as well as how many inquiries the companies cared to respond to at all.
What can businesses learn from Best Buy's social media presence? And how can an outsourcing company achieve the same level of success? Here is a closer look into what makes it all work for Best Buy:
Low average response times
Best Buy knocked out all other competitors in the Conversocial report with an average response time of 14 minutes on all social media channels. The company also successfully responded to 42.1 percent of total customer inquiries over both both Facebook and Twitter. Outsourcing social media efforts to a BPO company can especially help small businesses that lack the resources and time to constantly check feeds and respond to multiple inquiries. Best Buy already demonstrates strong face-to-face customer service through its in-store Geek Squad program. But much of these fast response times on social media inquiries can be attributed to customer-service-specific accounts.
Previously, the company utilized the @Twelpforce handle as an official Best Buy Twitter account devoted exclusively to fielding customer questions and concerns about any product. The account achieved more than 47,000 followers before recently merging over to the already existing @GeekSquad handle, where it continues to operate in much of the same capacity.
The right people
Because the company encourages such a large online customer service team, all new Best Buy sales clerks are trained in social media from the very beginning. As a result, the people contributing to the @GeekSquad account are often the same helpful employees found on the showroom floor of any Best Buy chain in the U.S.
Best Buy is a large retail corporation that can easily afford such a robust social media presence. But smaller businesses with limited resource can still incorporate many of Best Buy's strategies into their own social media operations by hiring the right social media outsourcing company.