50,000 hours training Best Buy employees on Windows 8

This week I spoke to Jason Bonfig, merchant vice president for computing at Best Buy. Bonfig told me that Best Buy has invested 50,000 hours worth of training to bring employees up to speed.

Very smart move by Microsoft and Best Buy. Microsoft must have known that people would be confused by the new interface, so to combat that they have experts on hand to make it all seem very simple.

  • “How many employees does Best Buy have? At the end of fiscal 2011, we employed approximately 180,000 full-time, part-time and seasonal employees.” So, 20 minutes per employee.

    • Dennis Madrid

      Does that count include everyone working for the company (managers, executives, HR, accounting, etc.) or just retail store staff?

      • Quite likely everyone, but you gotta figure that retail employees make up the bulk of that number. I mean, Apple has roughly 80% of their U.S. employees in customer-facing positions that would need training as new products came out (50K total U.S. employees, of which 26K are in retail and about 14K are in AppleCare support), and most of us would say that retail, while important, is not even Apple’s main goal.

        If Apple has 80% of their employees in customer-facing roles, how much higher would you expect that number to be at Best Buy. After all, they don’t do any significant amount of engineering or design.

  • This is Microsoft’s ever-recurring failure. In trying to make Windows easier to use, they make it harder to use. “Windows 8 UI Style” (hurl) is actually consistent and pretty damn simple once someone shows you how to use it.

    But you shouldn’t have to be shown how to use it. The discoverability is horrible in general and nearly non-existent on non-tablet devices. It’s the best UI nobody will ever figure out how to use.

  • The article makes it sound like this is a Best Buy initiative. It doesn’t sound like Microsoft is responsible for any of it. “The training involved selected blue shirt employees, Geek Squad consultants, and employees designated as Microsoft Advisors”.

  • All fine and well, but a lost cause considering 99% of the computers on display at BB are broken, not powered, or missing half the keys on the keyboard.

  • IcyFog

    And the same Best Buy employees typically trash Apple products. This has happened many times to me. So, I’ve stopped shopping there.