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Case Study

Waitwhile elevates the customer experience at Best Buy Canada

Company

Best Buy

Offices

British Columbia, Canada

Industry

Retail

Type

B2C

Founded in 1966 by Richard M. Schulze and James Wheeler, Best Buy is a multinational consumer electronics retailer committed to enriching lives through technology. In Canada, Best Buy relies on Waitwhile for queue management and curbside pickup at over 160 retail locations.
5.5M

Customers served

169

Stores on Waitwhile

The Challenge

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, consensus on the best way to manage public health and safety was hard to come by. Retailers with stores in multiple jurisdictions had to conform to a variety of local guidelines, not all of which aligned. For instance, laws across Canada required physical distancing, but some areas further instituted curfews.

Best Buy Canada suddenly needed a single solution to manage the new retail regulations that was safe, scalable across its 169 stores, and flexible enough to adhere to the specific mandates of local governments.

A clear solution that would limit in-store crowding was curbside pickup. But stores needed an intuitive method for customers to safely let their local Best Buy know that they’d arrived so that employees could bring their order out to the “curb” (or parking lot).

The Solution

Best Buy turned to Waitwhile to help institute a safe and seamless shopping experience for their customers. The company implemented Waitwhile in two ways:

1. Curbside Pickup

Best Buy locations quickly found that the best way to manage curbside pickup was by sending customers an email and/or text notification when their order was ready. This notification includes important details such as the store’s hours of operation along with a button customers could use to check in upon arrival.

2. Virtual waitlist

To further aid with capacity management, Waitwhile’s virtual waitlist feature allowed Best Buy to invite customers to join in-store queues for specific services remotely – with any device.

During the height of the pandemic, this allowed stores to safely adhere to capacity and social distancing restrictions while offering customers the flexibility to wait from anywhere. Today, customers can save their spot in line, get accurate wait time estimates, browse different parts of the store while they wait, and be notified via text message when it’s their turn.

“If they needed to go into appliances or into the mobile section to sign up for a mobile phone, or even Geek Squad services, they could easily do that with Waitwhile. We encouraged customers to follow that process and it ended up being very successful,” said Ashley Sims, Product Manager & Product Owner at Best Buy Canada.

Features used

Virtual Waitlist

Allow customers to get in line virtually and wait from anywhere.

SMS Communication

Keep an open line of communication and notify customers when
it’s their turn.

Curbside Pickup

Allow people to wait in their car and be notified at every step
of the process.

“With over 3 million customers queued through Waitwhile, we’ve already given them over 140,000 days back. It’s been seamless!”

Cliff Stefanuk
Product Manager, Best Buy Canada

The Result

After implementing Waitwhile for queue management and curbside pickup, Best Buy surveyed their customers and discovered that customer sentiment around the new experience was incredible.

“The verbatims that came back directly from customers spoke to the ease of use, the experience, and how safe and comfortable they felt from the curbside pickup experience,” said Cliff Stefanuk, Product Manager & Product Owner at Best Buy Canada.

In addition to making customers happy, Waitwhile was able to help Best Buy adhere to the disparate guidelines of local governments. Local bylaw enforcement officers who did location check ups even commented on the excellence of the Best Buy setup.

“The feedback from government bylaw officers was exceptional, and our staff and associates loved it as well. They loved that Waitwhile was so easy to use,” said Cliff Stefanuk. “It was very easy for us to put it into practice. We went to pilot, people picked it up right away with very minimal training materials, and then we were able to scale that out on a national level quite quickly.”

Given the rave reviews from both customers and staff, Best Buy Canada sees Waitwhile as integral to its vision to be a national leader in delivering exceptional customer service. “It’s transformational,” said Cliff Stefanuk. “[Waitwhile has] elevated our business in a way that’s kind of transformed how we operate – all for the better. I don’t think we would be able to offer what we offer without the partnership with Waitwhile.”

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