Improved service system design using Six Sigma DMAIC for a major US consumer electronics and appliance retailer

Sameer Kumar, Erika Strandlund, Douglas Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to create a strategy for “Best Buy”, a major consumer electronics and appliance retailer in the USA, to improve their service system to ensure that they can continuously gain market share. This study will examine and analyze Best Buy's store service blueprint in comparison to its competitors' service blueprints. The study will then examine Best Buy Geek Squad's service blueprint and recommend improvements that can be implemented to provide higher quality service to Best Buy's customers. Design/methodology/approach – A combination of design methods was used which included creating multiple service blueprints and implementing the Six Sigma DMAIC approach. A Service Quality (SERVQUAL) Survey was conducted and analyzed the data, to give an understanding of customer satisfaction with the service provided at Best Buy, compared to its major competitors. The service blueprint was analyzed and strategies were recommended to improve the present system, with the goal of providing better customer service and an improved shopping experience. With the recommendations an “improved service model” for Best Buy was created, along with fail safe mechanisms to ensure that service guarantees will be met. Findings – In the Six Sigma DMAIC Process Improvement approach, poka-yokes were implemented to improve the Best Buy service blueprint, which were identified through cause-and-effect diagrams that were created. By implementing the new service blueprint, along with the poka-yokes, Best Buy will see a significant improvement in customer satisfaction. Practical implications – Best Buy and other retail service providers should consider investing in adequate staffing of technically savvy and customer sensitive store associates and implement customer service training programs to improve their education relating specifically to the quality of service delivery to their customers. Originality/value – This paper focuses on the business case for implementing Six Sigma tools to improve the service provided by retailers. This should lead to long-term profitability and improved customer service.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)970-994
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Retail & Distribution Management
Issue number12
StatePublished - Nov 7 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing


Dive into the research topics of 'Improved service system design using Six Sigma DMAIC for a major US consumer electronics and appliance retailer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this