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TheBolt

The official blog of Abt Electronics & Appliances

Archive for April, 2010

Lights, Camera, and Bold Chat

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Abt’s employees work 24 hours a day to keep day-to-day operations running at the high standards set by generations of the Abt family. Most day employees arrive between 3-9am, although employees come and go all day and night long.

Thursday began like most, with one major exception, at 8:30am Ross Haskell, the director of marketing at Bold Software, and a production crew came in to spend the day taping a video for the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition (IRCE) 2010.

The IRCE is a conference where internet retailers convene to learn from each other over a four-day period each June. This year both Jon Abt and Ross Haskell will be speaking for a conference session to discuss software that has become a lifeline of our customer’s internet retail experience. Bold Software created BoldChat, a technology responsible for giving our customers the ability to speak with a customer service or sales specialists live on-line regarding anything from product specs to tracking info to sales quotes.

BoldChat is a managed communication tool, which provides customers live human contact over the internet, in the form of a chat, which is similar to texing or emailing with the instant gratification of an immediate expert response from Abt’s highly-trained staff.

In a world full of automation, customers appreciate the person-to-person contact attainable because of BoldChat sessions. Abt has grown into the largest single-store retailer in the country, thanks to uncompromised values like customer service, as seen in the store’s motto, “The answer is always yes to any reasonable request.” BoldChat gives Abt another outlet to serve customers in every aspect of the sales process.

During the long day of filming, Jon Abt along with customers, and staff did interviews about their experience using BoldChat. The consensus was BoldChat has become a tool that Abt can’t live without. Customers appreciate the versatility of being able to speak with a sales or customer service specialist while multi-tasking. It is so flexible that consumers in every demographic can use BoldChat.
Customers are parents, students, at work, or just have so much going on that they don’t have time to be on the phone. The overwhelming customer response to the question, “what do you like most about BoldChat?” was the ability to pose a question and walk away from the computer, knowing upon their return, an expert response would be waiting for them.

customer service personnel can answer questions and include links to products, shipper’s websites, or even spec sheets on a manufacturer website. The best feature of Bold-Chatting, according to our staff, is their ability to provide unparalleled customer service and assist multiple customers at the same time.

Jon, Abt’s co-president, is hands on with the internet sales division of Abt. He is always willing to jump in and assist sales or customer service staff with answering phones and questions on BoldChat. The internet division of Abt sales has been around for 13 years. Since 1999, BoldChat has been an essential component of our service. Jon believes that BoldChat is an enhancement that has made it even easier than ever before to get answers to questions, as simple or complex as they may be.

Abt’s staff, who utilize BoldChat daily, believe that the ways to assist customers seem endless. Just about any questions a customer could ask on the phone, staff can easily answer over on a BoldChat. Both sales and

Constantly changing to meet our customer’s ever-evolving needs is a top priority and thanks to BoldChat, we are able to help customers in yet another effective and personal way. At Abt, customer needs come first, and thanks to BoldChat we can offer even better customer service than ever before!

-Kelly B.

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Jitterbug Phones, Now Available at Abt

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

New to Abt, Jitterbug phones! Jitterbug phones have EasyDial keypads, powerful speakers, 24-hour live operators, simple menus, and they’re Bluetooth and Caller ID enabled. With Jitterbug, there are no contracts, no termination fees, and no prepaid hassles. Jitterbug plans begin at $14.95 a month and only $147 gets you started. For more information on Jitterbug phones and rate plans, contact an Abt small electronics sales specialist today.

-Kelly B.

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Read Abt's Blog and Win an iPod!!!

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Have you read this week’s blogs? Make sure you check them out for Blog Contest Info! Contest ends next week, so get your entries in soon!

-Kelly B.

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Music for This Summer's Backyard BBQs

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

It’s that time again. Summer’s almost here; are you ready for all the summer backyard barbeques? No backyard event is complete without the essentials, and that includes great friends, food, and music. You’ve got the food and the friends, but is the same old boom box going to cut it this year—probably not.

Abt has an outdoor music solution for you. Bose Environmental, Boston Acoustics, Sonance, Definitive Audio, Polk, Klipsch, Outcast, and Yamaha outdoor speakers are what you need for awesome music in the backyard this year. We even have an all-weather TV by Sunbrite for the Cubs games you don’t want to miss while you are enjoying the sun!

For more information on outdoor speakers or any music solution for your home, speak with an Abt sales specialist today!

-Kelly B.

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Microsoft Zune, Available Now at Abt

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Microsoft Zune is now available at Abt. It’s a 32 GB mp3 player with tons of features. It’s got a 3.3” scratch resistant, OLED touchscreen, HD radio, HD compatible video, web browser, Quickplay functionality, and it’s wireless.

Zune will hold up to 8,000 songs, 10 hours of HD video from Zune Marketplace, 48 hours of video optimized for the device, or 25,000 pictures. It comes in two colors, either black or silver.
The battery life is great. It will run for up to 33 hours when the wireless settings are off or play video up to 8.5 consecutive hours.

When you buy Zune at Abt, you know that you’ve made a great choice. It comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty and if you need service just bring it right in and Abt electronic service technicians will take care of any issue you may encounter!

-Kelly B.

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Protect Your Mac Book

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Laptop cases are essential for anyone who totes their computer around. They can look utilitarian, whimsical, even like a backpack. What’s the most important feature of a laptop case? Computer protection. The second most important feature? Its looks.

Mac Books are very light and delicate. They need sturdy protection. 12 South has come up with a “novel” interpretation on a traditional concept. The BookBook is a laptop case, made for Mac Books and Mac Book Pros.

BookBook is a unique case that looks like an old book. It has an ultra soft interior and rigid leather exterior for extra protection. The spine of the BookBook is extra sturdy to keep your fragile Mac even safer than with a traditional case.

The BookBook is hand crafted; no two are alike. Touted by 12 South as a vintage work of art, it’s more than a cool way to keep your Mac safe; it’s also a clever disguise. You can leave it on the shelf of your home and no one would ever know it’s not a book.

Visit the Apple Boutique and speak with an Apple Product Professional for more information on the BookBook or any Apple-related question.

-Kelly B.

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Free iPod From Abt

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Summer is almost here. I don’t know about you, but during the summer I love to listen to my iPod on long walks with my dog, on the beach in the sun, and bike rides too. If you haven’t gotten an iPod yet, or just need a new one, it’s your lucky day. I am giving away an iPod Shuffle to one of my loyal blog readers.

To enter the contest to win a Shuffle, simply leave a comment at the end of this or any subsequent blog post anytime between April 23, 2010 and May 7, 2010. The last comment will be accepted at 5pm on 5/7/2010.

The iPod Shuffle winner will be chosen at random and will be notified via email by May 10, 2010. Comments must be relevant to the contest or blog post. Entry is limited to residents of the continental US, due to shipping restrictions. This contest is not open to Abt employees.

-Kelly B.

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Recycle Old Goods For Gift Cards

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Even though Earth Week is coming to an end, Abt is eco-friendly every day. One of the lesser-known programs Abt participates in is super eco-friendly and has more to offer than just helping the environment. Abt is a proud participant in the CE Exchange. It’s a program for those with unwanted electronics who don’t just want to recycle or throw them away. It’s fast and easy to participate, just visit http://www.abt.com/Abt_CExchange.php3 and begin the quick three step process.

The CE Exchange will appraise your electronics, send you a pre-paid mailing label, and when the item is received, they send you a gift card for use at Abt, in the amount that was appraised.

Currently, the CE exchange is accepting mp3 players, mobile phones, gaming systems, cameras, camcorders, computers, and GPS systems.

The process is simple, choose the category of the item that you would like to recycle, then locate the model and click on it. For instance if you are hoping to trade in your iPhone, go to the phones category, pick Apple (manufacturer), then locate the model number of the phone (2G-3GS), just click on the model and see what it’s worth. After you complete the process and send in the item it will be processed, and a gift card will be mailed. Local customers can complete the process in the showroom and qualify for an immediate gift card.

For more information on CE Exchange, speak with an Abt customer service specialist today.

-Kelly B.

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Abt Hosts the Cradle's Night of Promise Charity Event

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Abt is happy to be the venue for the Cradle’s 5th annual Night of Promise charity event. Saturday, April 24th from 7-11pm event attendees will enjoy great music, gourmet food, a silent auction, an open bar, and so much more.

Founded in 1923 by Florence Dahl Walrath, the Cradle has become a beacon for women who are compelled to place their babies with adoptive families as well as adoptive families, desperate yet unable to have a child.

Night of Promise began in 2005 and all proceeds went to orphanages in Russia. Over the past five years the benefit has stopped aiding Russian orphanages, now donating the money to Cradle programs, Cradle children’s services, expectant mothers and families, and to provide lifelong support to anyone touched by adoption.

Co-chairs Penelope Boardman and Amy Novicki have worked hard to make this year’s event as successful as the preceding years.

For more information on the Cradle’s Night of Promise or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.cradle.org.

-Kelly B.

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Abt, in the Spotlight, for Being Green

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Abt took center stage in CE Pro magazine today. In honor of Abt’s green initiatives, Julie Jacobson wrote an article to showcase Abt’s green efforts. In the Article, Abt Electronics: The Greenest A/V Retailer in the Country, Mike Abt tells Jacobson of Abt’s recycling center and bio-diesel generator.

Mike Abt, a self-proclaimed hippie, is the president of Abt Electronics and spearheads all of Abt’s eco-friendly efforts. Wind turbines aid the generator in keeping Abt off the grid during business hours. Abt proudly tells Jacobson, “Whatever the next new power thing is,” he says, “We’re on it.”

In addition to running on our own clean-burning energy, Abt is also unique, in that all Styrofoam is recycled in house. Recycling is more for than the environment than for Abt’s gain. At Abt, it’s about making a difference by recycling, not making a profit.

To read the entire article, click here.

-Kelly B.

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