The Trade Descriptions Act

The trade Descriptions Act 1968 makes it an offence for a store to sell or advertise goods or services with a false or misleading statements. The Act carries criminal penalties and is enforced by local authorities' such as Trading Standards Officers. Trading standards will investigate any suspicious products or services that have been advertised or promoted as being something, and doesn't meet the expectations of the customers. On many occasions businesses are investigated by trading standards officers after gaining tip offs from the consumer.

With the large amount of ticketing in the Large Electrical Department it is very important that all information printed on the tickets is correct and corresponds correctly to the machine it is on. The wrong information could lead to the Trading standards officers starting an investigation. There have been occasions when the price shown on an appliance is incorrect. We have to offer the  achine at the lower price to the customer otherwise this could lead to a complaint to the Trading Standards office.

As well as displaying the shop ticket on the machines we also have to display the Energy Labels, which display information about the machine on how efficient it is. By law these have to be displayed on washing Machines, Tumble Driers, Refrigeration and Dishwashers. Failure to do this can lead to prosecution. Here are many different ways that we are able to monitor the level of customer services offered by The Large Electrical Department. The results of this research is then used to pinpoint where changes need to be made, to further improve the level of service that customers experience when shopping in the department.

The Customer Service department is responsible for this research. We have a team of three people in the customer service department who are dedicated to this field of work and research into the individual departments in the branch to monitor the level of customer services. Performance is monitored on a half yearly basis using a number of techniques. These techniques are shown on the following few pages. Questionnaires The main technique that is employed is departmental questionnaires. Customers are asked to take a few minutes to answer the questionnaire on the customer services they received in the department during the visit.

All Selling partners are informed when the week that these questionnaires are going to be used in the department and are taken through the questions on the questionnaire so that they are aware of what is being asked. It is up to the selling partners to ensure that they inform and ask the customers to take the time to fill one out after having been served in the department. These questionnaires are fairly short so as not to be too time consuming for the customer. They ask questions such as: Q. Were you satisfied with the appearance, cleanliness and tidiness of the department? Please also comment on these areas. 

Q. What if any problems did you encounter in the department? Q. What were your feelings on the knowledge held by the Partner that served you? These types of questions help to build up an idea of the public's perception of how they feel they are being served and overall level of customer services that customers experience from the Large Electrical Department. It can also be used to obtain information on particular Partners skill and knowledge of the department. this helps to pinpoint any areas that need to be improved through staff training.

When similar problems occur it is then easy to rectify that particular problem and avoid other customers from experiencing it in the future. Mystery Shoppers Twice a year we employ secret shoppers to visit all the departments in the store. In total there are six different secret shoppers. These people are from other branches so that they aren't recognised by staff in the Watford Branch and are perceived as an everyday customer. The mystery shopper is given a brief, which includes information on what appliance they are looking for, possible problems regarding size, delivery and features needed on the appliance they are after.

They go ahead with the order using a temporary account card set up by the Customer Service department so that there is no chance of it getting out that there is a secret shopper in the Branch. They order the goods to be delivered to a made up address. The secret shopper is carried out six times over a two week process to ensure that as many different Partners are assessed as possible. The fact that there are six different shoppers means that each secret shopper only goes into the Large Electrical department once. The secret shopper then reports back to the customer service department in great detail on how well the Large Electrical Department performed. This type of information lets us build up a clear picture of how the department performs on a day to day basis.