Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Twelpforce Episode 2: Attack of the clones

Twelpforce has been a great test so far, and in the future it will be an even greater tool Best Buy can use to help its customers realize happiness. This is my take on what Twelpforce 1.0 could look like, more of a prediction than a true suggestion. I am sure that many of these ideas have already been discussed, but I have been thinking about it for the past couple of days and wanted to write about it, so here we go.

Customer service tools

Many tools are already in the average Blue Shirt’s hands to take care of common to advanced customer issues. The future twelper will use more of these tools to hand customer issues in the same way that any rep 2 or a 1-888-Best-Buy call center employee currently does. This will provide a faster way to handle customer issues, along with increasing productivity for the call center load. Imagine an army of call center employees all taking phone calls and at the same time being able to take care of 1-10 customers through the web. This takes place in a world that merges Twelpforce with the remote support Geek Squad agent idea, and provides a very quick and easy experience for our customer.

More ways to send/receive messages

Another big change that I see happening is moving outward from Twitter. We will take advantage of over ways to communicate with our customers; this includes communicating with customers through SMS, Google talk, Google wave, Facebook, Xbox Live, and In the future this will be one way that we can eliminate the barriers like distance, time, and service that have between us and taking care of our customers.

Process Sales

Another patch that I could see following is one where twelpers are able to process sales through whichever method they have established contact with the customer. Of course there are a great many pieces of security we would have to put into place first to ensure that we are not setting up an easy way for customers to be duped and defrauded. Other than that this could be an easy transition from just educating customers around products they may enjoy to actually facilitating the sale of that product. This way the customer can get exactly what they had talked about without any chance for them to accidently bring home the wrong product.

Testimonials from satisfied customers

One of the best ideas I have received from a fellow twelper was to favorite all of the “Thank You” responses that I receive. It is a great morale booster and can be used to demonstrate our impact to other associates while explaining what Twelpforce is and how it impacts our customers. Having a public facing version of this would allow for potential customers and critics what kind of service they can expect from us. There are always going to be critics that we can’t win over to our side, but one negative voice can be overwhelmed by a sea of positive. I could see an area for this on the official Twelpforce website, along with mentions from real customers in future advertising of Twelpforce, we are already using real employees, why not use real customers as well.


One of the things I have noticed as I twelp is that some questions come up over and over again. We have solved this problem for now by linking to a forum, but in the future I believe that there will be a fully functional archive of answers that the public will be able to search. These searches will find relevant answers to questions that are commonly asked. If a customer doesn’t want to wait for a twelper to help them out, they could simply look at the answers we have already provided, along with longer more detailed answers than 140 characters are able to provide.


Another change I see in the future is the addition of articles or columns written by twelpers on a daily, weekly, or monthly cycle based on the twelper and the content on which they are writing. Essentially like a Mashable, CNET, Gizmodo, etc type of news source written by Best Buy employees. With over 2,200 twelpers currently finding a handful of them willing and able to write Tech/Best Buy related articles will be an easy task. These articles would be based on the writers’ prowess and interests detailing things like new technology coming out, possibilities from current tech, benefits of services we offer, etc. In this way we will drive extra traffic from people who may not have questions or issues for us to resolve, but my just be interested in what one of our writers has to say.


One really amazing thing I witnessed recently was a question being answered in a video. This was a really fantastic thing for many reasons. First, it allow for a longer than 140 character answer, but it was more than that. It was a personal connection that words can’t always convey. I can see this as a big part of the future as it seems like an even more positive version of what we are doing currently. Also, archiving these videos would be very simple through TouTube and TwitVid.

Alright, this week was a short update. As always feel free to leave comments below.

1 comment:

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