Former Apple Retail Chief Adds a Personal Touch to Consumer Electronics
Imagine if tech experts made house calls, free of charge, to help customers set up gadgets ranging from smartphones, tablets and digital cameras to more esoteric electronica—like multiroom music systems and aerial drones.
Well, now they do, thanks to Enjoy Technology, a startup launched by Ron Johnson, former CEO of JCPenney and svp at Apple, who helped develop the tech titan's retail stores worldwide.
"While e-commerce excels at convenience and choice, the reality is many of us need more help, especially with electronics. We've lost a level of customer service or personal touch, even though our devices and purchases have become ever more complex, expensive and intertwined," said Johnson. "Our experts spend up to an hour setting up and connecting your device and walking you through core features to ensure you're off and running and feeling confident about using the product."
The service is available in San Francisco and New York City–so far, and two types of visits are available. Customers who purchase certain products—from AT&T, Boosted, DJI, GoPro, HP, Lenovo, Sonos and others—through GoEnjoy.com can arrange delivery and setups for no additional charge. Also, $99 expert visits can be scheduled to help folks get more, well, enjoyment from select devices they already own.
Adweek: Describe a typical Enjoy visit.
Ron Johnson: When you order a GoPro, an expert will not only help you shoot your first movie, but also upload it to your computer and teach you how to share it via social channels. For Sonos, we'll not only connect all your new speakers but help you organize room-specific playlists and introduce you to other music apps you might be interested in.
What types of consumers are you targeting?
We believe Enjoy is for everyone. We've done extensive research and found that some benefits resonate more with different audiences. Younger customers tend to value the convenience, whereas older customers tend to place the most value on the one-to-one help.
How do you find and train your experts?
At this point, we've been finding our experts through word of mouth and recruiting events. We've found that many experts have friends who'd also be great experts. Individuals can also apply online at GoEnjoy.com. We currently have 44 experts in the Bay Area and 36 servicing the New York area. Each expert undergoes multiweek technical and cultural training, which includes both classroom and in-the-field hours.
How can customers be sure it's safe to have Enjoy employees visit their homes or businesses?
Each of our experts is carefully vetted through in-person interviews and reference checks (and all are bonded). These are employees of the company, not contractors. Our experts are happy to meet a customer whenever and wherever they prefer—at a coffee shop, at the customer's office or home—so customers can determine where they feel most comfortable.
What if I still can't get my device to work after your techs leave?
Our experts will then help find a solution to meet that individual's needs—at no additional cost. If there's a more extensive issue, we encourage customers to schedule another session so we can work together to make sure satisfaction is achieved. Furthermore, every product Enjoy sells comes with a warranty from the manufacturer to resolve any technical issues that come up.
Tell me about the arrangements you make with tech providers. Do you get a commission from sales?
We operate within similar margins as other retailers. Instead of investing in operating costs like brick-and-mortar shops, we invest in people, our experts. We're committed to keeping the service free for customers. Experts are not on commission nor do they have sales goals.
You have a deal with AT&T that includes an Enjoy button on AT&T.com.
Customers in the Bay Area and New York City can select Enjoy as a free service with the purchase of select eligible new smartphones or smartphone and tablet bundles. After checking out, Enjoy will contact the customer to schedule their delivery and visit.
What's in it for your partner companies?
Enjoy provides a quality of service that is not available through other retail channels, enabling companies to strengthen personal relationships with existing customers or forge relationships with new ones. It's a fiscally attractive model for our partners who see lower returns and reduced internal support costs. In the case of AT&T, Enjoy is paid a fee every time we conduct an expert visit.
Are you reinventing the "house call" of a TV repair service for the digital age?
People have personal trainers, personal shoppers—why not a similar, trusted figure for your electronics? The relationship with an expert doesn't end with the visit. Our experts may check in from time to time to recommend a new app or product based on the customer's interest, and customers can request the same expert for future visits.