Trust Lost

best_buy_logo_svg.pngBest Buy, the nation’s biggest consumer electronics retailer, Best Buy has a big problem.  They appear to have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar.  Like many retailers (including my employer, Circuit City), BestBuy provides access to their website from within their physical stores.  The problem is that the prices shown in-store are higher than the prices shown on their website when accessed from outside the store. 

The vast majority of CE customers research their purchased on the web before buying.  They often decide on what and where to buy based on features and price, and then go to the selected store for a final look and to complete the transaction.   For many Best Buy customers, the price went up when they walked in the door.  In some cases, they may not have even realized it.   Now, at least one state government is conducting investigations and you can count on more to follow.   I expect proposals for a Class Action suit have already been put together by some eager legal team.

Best Buy has invested millions on programs designed to drive customer loyalty, especially among preferred customer groups.   I don’t know whether their success can be attributed to those programs, but I do know this:

Loyalty is a customer’s response to advocacy and earned trust. 

It doesn’t matter whether BestBuy’s “problem” is the result of planned deception or simply a bad design, the appearance of impropriety is going to cost them some of that trust and loyalty.

Has your organization reviewed its customer touchpoints to ensure that you don’t have systems or procedures that could damage the trust your customers have in you?


1 comment so far

  1. Share Tactics on

    Best Buy, Amazon, and You (and Me).

    As customers we seem to reserve a special kind of (out)rage for places like CompUSA and Best Buy. If the big box retailers like Target eventually supplant them through a bigger push into consumer electronics, one has to wonder if we’ll start to …

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