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Next Challenge: What Will Smart Homes Look Like 10 Years From Now?
Help us create the ideal virtual associate experience
Challenge Type: business
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top 50%
33 months ago

A home improvement retailer is exploring ways to help customers make informed purchases in categories they may not be familiar with, and take on home improvement projects/ updates around their home they may have never tried before. We’d like you to help create an offering which both empowers someone to take on a project themselves and provides advice every step of the way. Help create an innovative solution to scale help, knowledge and know-how that will shape home improvement experiences of the future.


1) Thinking about helping customers take on projects, and do things themselves, what would the ideal experience look like? This is your opportunity to be creative. To help you get started, below are a few questions to think about the experience:

  • How would someone engage / get involved / ask for help? (e.g. live assistance, self serve, book an appointment, attend a workshop, etc)
  • What tools should be used? (e.g. text chat, video/ Zoom, Tik-Tok, etc.) What kinds of projects would be best suited for these sessions?
  • Would it be a free or paid service? Explain
  • Who is the ideal person to give this kind of advice? (ex. A contractor or professional, associate from the retailer, product vendor, a combination?)
  • How many different types / services should be offered?

2) What would be the most important features of this kind of a service to get customers using it? What makes this better than any solution that currently exists?

3) Tell us about any positive virtual support experiences you've had with other companies (Outside of customer service for order cancellation). What was the company, and what type of support were they offering?

**NOTE** Solutions will receive a 1-10 score based on how well these three areas are addressed

  1. Scaleability – Can help customers across the country easily
  2. Innovation – A creative solution that sets the retailer apart from competitors
  3. Leverages technology – Leverages tools / tech to help customers

    Submissions will be graded on the following criteria:
  • 1-10 Scale
Reward Tiers
Top 10%
will share $1,000
Next 15%
will share $400
Next 25%
will share $200
Actual individual rewards will be based on the total number of eligible solutions.
$83.30 Melinda Garland antioch
$83.30 Matthew Gaiser Queen's University
$83.30 Shawn Hillier College of the Holy Cross
$83.30 Matthew Oliphant Southern New Hampshire University
$83.30 Sree S Carnegie Mellon University
$83.30 Jennifer Danuff University of Central Florida
$83.30 Andy Martin University of South Florida
$83.30 Vyshnavi Viju
$83.30 serena Chima
$83.30 Aditi Maheshwari University of Toronto
$83.30 Lyna D Penn Foster
$83.30 Patrick LePochat University of South Florida
$23.50 TJ Fritts University of Tennessee
$23.50 Hager Mohammad University of Toronto
$23.50 Nickk Thanh
$23.50 Thang Nguyen University of Vermont
$23.50 Emma Carrothers University of Ottawa
$23.50 Shane Jenkins University of Notre Dame
$23.50 Nikhil Patil McMaster University
$23.50 Justin Barcusky Drexel University
$23.50 Yale Wang University of Waterloo
$23.50 Lewis Kim University of California, Berkeley
$23.50 Vartika Parekh
$23.50 Gerald Okafor University of Manchester
$23.50 Jori Bird St. Lawrence College
$23.50 Liliannn Yánez
$23.50 Karl R Georgia Institute of Technology
$23.50 Meera Stephen
$23.50 n r
$6.90 Joe Moules San Jose State University
$6.90 Olivia Wendell Honolulu community college
$6.90 Rosynes Falcon
$6.90 Mitch McCurry
$6.90 Sang Nguyen McGill University