Amazon is taking the next step to get its voice-activated digital assistant Alexa into homes across the US: It's offering customers smart home consultations and installation services with Amazon experts.
Currently available in seven locations (Seattle, Wash.; Portland, Ore.; San Francisco, Calif.; San Diego, Calif.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Orange County, Calif.; and San Jose, Calif.), the new services are provided by Amazon employees rather than contractors. "They have been handpicked for their technology experience, passion for customer service, and strong track record," Amazon boasts.
It effectively mirrors Best Buy's Geek Squad -- the troop of tech experts that Best Buy has relied on in part to help carry it through the increasingly brutal retail landscape. By improving its customer support -- which so far has been questionable -- Amazon may be poised to take down the retail giant.
Meanwhile, the new services could help accelerate Amazon's smart home strategy, which is based on the growing Alexa-enabled ecosystem, as well as devices like Amazon Dash buttons. The Amazon Echo is already the dominant smart speaker on the market.