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Geek Squad awards badges to INSTALLS Inc. workers in Buffalo

Nate Bauer is a geek, and he’s got the badge to prove it.

Now, 40 employees of INSTALLS Inc. have the same.

Bauer, Geek Squad’s Chief Inspector, was in downtown Buffalo on Wednesday to award dispatchers at INSTALLS Inc. the Geek Squad’s highest honor. The call center workers, and a handful of supervisors, were given impressive-looking badges and the title of “agent defender.”

INSTALLS is only the third outside company in Geek Squad history to have a badge ceremony. Both of the other companies that had badges awarded were much larger national companies than the Main Street-headquartered company.

“You don’t just get a badge. You have to earn it,” Bauer said, calling it a symbol of “honor, integrity and excellence.”

Geek Squad decided to extend the agent defender opportunity to qualifying INSTALLS workers because the two companies have worked so closely together for so many years. Employees had to have been employed with the company at least 18 months, pass an online training course about Geek Squad history and culture, and meet several metrics that measure their performance quality, such as the time it takes them to answer a call and how pleased customers are with their service.

INSTALLS Inc. credits a large part of its expansion over the years to the partnership it forged with Geek Squad early on. INSTALLS had one employee when it first opened in 1993. It partnered with Best Buy a year later, and today has 250 employees, plus field contractors who work throughout the country.

Best Buy’s Geek Squad is a team of tech support workers who help customers through complicated in-home installations such as home theaters, appliances and computers. INSTALLS’ call center workers dispatch field contractors throughout the country and talk customers through complicated installations over the phone or online.