Chris Sallans, Vice President, Retail Operations & Geek Squad, Best Buy Canada
Chris is a retail operations specialist with over 23 years’ experience in the Retail industry. His knowledge across many different segments of the retail business provides him with a holistic approach to fulfilling the unique needs of different stakeholders while achieving overall business goals.
As VP, Retail Operations, Chris oversees a team that is responsible for facilitating the delivery and design of programs between Best Buy Canada’s corporate headquarters and 172 retail locations. His role includes managing labour, processes, strategic initiatives and execution of both retail stores and Geek Squad. Chris has worked in multiple markets across Canada and has spent time in various roles between the field and at corporate headquarters.
What would you say was the biggest impact that COVID-19 had on Best Buy Canada and how did Salesforce help in this situation?
COVID-19 effectively supports our customers’ (and clients’) changing shopping behaviours and needs. To that end, the Salesforce platform has enabled us to share data and knowledge effectively across our teams to support these changing behaviours while also scaling to the demand.
Salesforce recently announced the launch of its Next Generation of Field Service. How do you believe this will impact businesses like Best Buy?
Being able to maintain operations and keeping customers (and clients) informed can be challenging. The Next Generation of Field Service has the features to ensure this is a reality.
What would you say is the biggest challenge that employees working in the field face and what are some of the ways that Salesforce is working on addressing these challenges?
Our agents working in the field are exceptionally talented. Technology is already complex and rapidly changing; it’s made even more complex by having to manage data from multiple, often separate systems. Salesforce and the solutions it provides help us to unify those systems and reduce that complexity, allowing the talents of the agents to really shine.
Many companies have adjusted their ways of conducting business due to the challenges that COVID-19 has caused. How would you say Best Buy’s Geek Squad agents have adjusted their regular way of working? What new procedures have they implemented in their daily tasks since the start of COVID-19?
The safety of our agents and client is always our number one priority. COVID-19 has forced us to take this to another level. Teams across the organization have spent countless hours planning, developing and implementing new processes and initiatives as a direct result of COVID-19. Some specific examples include; safety training, new and enhanced notification processes to inform our clients of safety procedures and expectations, additional PPE and physical distancing measures, and more options for our clients on how they can leverage Geek Squad for their technology, whether in-store, in-home or completely remotely.
Would you say the new changes that Salesforce has implemented for the Field Service will facilitate the way that Geek Squad agents conduct their work in the aftermath of COVID-19?
Absolutely, these new changes allow Geek Squad agents to focus on taking care of our client with accuracy and speed.
On a final note, what can you tell us about any new projects that Best Buy Canada is currently working on?
Our focus right now is on making sure we’re best prepared for the upcoming holiday season, ensuring we have everything ready to help spread out the demand and keep both employees and customers (clients) safe. At the same time, we have teams working on exciting programs for the future, taking into account the new normal in which we are all living, working and playing in.