The FIVES - how DSGI stores convert their customers

2 February 2009

This morning we await news of the fate of PC World employees across the country. Judging by the hundreds of comments Bitterwallet has received in the past few weeks, emotions are certainly running high amongst staff at DSGI; best of luck if there are changes ahead that affect you.

Reading through the comments, you'll notice that many posters are discussing the merits of FIVES, a selling programme taught to DSGI employees. Reader Bladesman has provided a link to the Consumer Action Group forums, where a poster claiming to be a Currys employee explains exactly what FIVES is:

It's trained to all staff via some Derren Brown-style mind games and takes a full three day training session to learn. It consists of five "rooms" each containing a step the salesman should take to convert you from a browser to a buyer.

Room 1: The greeting - the salesman approaches the potential customer and asks "what brings you to Currys today?". This serves to act as an open ended question (instantly denying you a yes or no answer and opening you up to further questioning). It also it allows them to use the match +1 technique, where they match your attitude then plus it by 1; if your angry they empathise, if your happy, they're happier. They will also attempt to mirror your body language.

Room 2: Engagement - the salesman will then ask you what you're looking for, and ask you "are you a whateverhappens customer?". When you proceed to ask what whateverhappens is, he/she will then tell you that they'll inform you about what it is in a little while, leaving you pondering on it. They call this "planting the seed".

Room 3: The sale box - the salesman will proceed to ask you if you're replacing a product, and what you liked/hated/would change about the old one. He'll then proceed to tell you "what if I could offer you [insert item] at [insert price]?".

Room 4: The tailor - this room enlarges on the previous room, explaining the reasons why you should buy the product, and why you'll almost certainly need those expensive premium leads on your TV. This part is all about getting those margin enhancing attachments. Then they'll ask you if you'd considered a "cash or monthly option" trying to convert you on to easiplan credit wherever possible.

Room 5: The happy customer - the salesman will then proceed to take you to a side area (for larger items), and explain to you what whateverhappens is. They'll attempt to make it sound like an exclusive club, and that it totally outclasses the manufacturer's warranty in every way, they'll also try to overcome such objections as house insurance and credit card coverage, whilst emphasising the accidental damage cover and playing down the cost. They will then hand you your product with two hands if they can, and ask you if your happy with your purchase.

The poster isn't the only one to compare the techniques to Derren Brown, probably because of the positive NLP-style language used throughout the steps. Is it a bad thing? A case of staff trying to lull you into a sale you're not interested in, or simply a more effective way to service the customer? What do you think?

TOPICS:   High Street News   Games


  • Joff
    I have no love for DSGI but FIVES sounds like a fairly structured sales technique that's designed to allow staff (who may not be natural born sellers) to assist all types of customers.
  • Arnold
    Oh Dear Bitter Wallet Do you drive? if so, you would have taken lessons on how to (I assume)! Without lessons or a structure you would probably end up stalling the car, or maybe crashing it or even worse killing someone/yourself So why the big hang up on a structured selling tool which helps colleagues give a good customer experience? In all the business I have worked with there has been some sort of structure, from what I can see of fives it looks pretty good, and could probably be adapted to other situations, for example; What brings you to bitter wallet today? (probably to find out if any gossip is true - MOST WON'T BE) Are you a regular visitor to this site? (if the answer is yes, you may need to investigate other conspiricies; CIA running the world, UFO's, The Arrivals *look it up on you-tube - you'll never leave the house again!) What do you love about yourself? (nothing, judging by the comments I have read) If there was one thing you would change about bitter wallet what would it be? (I'll guess people want FACTS) What's more important to you? Whinning on sites like this or getting off your arse and doing something about it? ('nuff said) Happy? (I seriously doubt it) I don't want to see anyone loose thier jobs, homes, families ect but there is one common theme running throughout all these threads WHY CHANGE? Because you NEED to! peace to the (PC) World
  • annon
    Thats close, but not all true, asking questions to identify a customers needs does not mean they will try and flog you stuff you dont want/need which seems to be a common assumption! Cash or monthly is not a way to try and force people into taking credit options. It establishes if the customer has the relevant documntation early on rather than waiting untill the end of the sale only for the customer to say, "i want it on finance" and then the sales advisor has to explain that they need particular documents to process finance and go home and come back, THAT is bad customer service. As long they are paying for the goods and not stealing them i couldnt care less what method of payment they use, its whatever the customer wants!Fives may not be everybodies cup of tea but it helps to give a structure to something that is not natural for a lot of staff in retail stores.
  • Liddle m.
    a more effective way to service the customer? to SERVICE the customer? what, you mean like the way one services a sexual partner? shafting? Like those a-holes in the post office who turn your request into shafting questions?: Customer: I'd like this 2nd class with proof of postage please. RM Shafter: Is it valuable? Customer: 2nd class with proof of postage please. RM Shafter: Do you need it to be there by tomorrow? Customer: Could you just give me the service I'm asking for please? 2nd class. Proof of postage. RM Shafter: Sir, there is no need to raise your voice. I'm simply trying to expand your options. Customer: Expand my frigging options?! Just deliver the [email protected]@ng letter, a-hole! RM Shafter: Security! Security! We have another one!
  • Paul S.
    @ Arnold There's no hang-up at all. The comments on previous DSGI posts have all mentioned the FIVES, which is an internal reference meaning nothing to readers not employed by DSGI. This post is to explain what the technique is (which does seem to borrow heavily from NLP) and ask what people think of it. I haven't drawn any conclusions about it either way, which I'm sure you'll agree is a rarity.
  • Arnold
    @ Paul Smith I agree
  • Liddle m.
    Oh dear Arnold. Since Paul has elected to be so polite, may I be the one to suggest you are a obviously a business guru? Take this quote of yours - "In all the business I have worked with there has been some sort of structure" Pure genius Arnold, pure genius! If you haven't done so already, I strongly suggest you get your ass down to DSGI HQ and offer your services. They could do with more people like you!
  • JanAltus
    @ Liddle ol' me - Royal Mail Shafter. OMG!!! I thought it was just me (and my local Post Office). It is so good to know this is common practice (or is it good to know, when we have no choice?)
  • Pizza_D_Action
    Room one would get a response of "i'm just browsing thank you" from me.... if he proceeded further he would see me a) walk out of the shop or b) tell him politely to buggar off. Any attempts after that would meet with a bloody nose :)
  • Liddle m.
    Hey JanAltus - yeah, well I suppose it's better to talk about it as a first step towards resisting the practice. I asked a guy working the tills at my GPO recently if he and his colleagues were embarrassed to prostitute themselves so shamelessly for the company. He looked at me like I was mad. The DSGI salespeople are worse though. They don't just oversell their products, they blatantly and knowingly lie about them. The capabilities of expensive cables for new AV equipment is the classic one, and much pricier than Next Day Special Delivery.
  • Paulro
    Having been to PC World and Currys a fair number of times, I can safely say, that it is very rare that staff (if you can find any at all) will even acknowledge you, let alone attempt any kind of sales technique. I'd be quite impressed with a happy medium, where staff are available, should you require service, but leave you alone while you're browsing. Not too much to ask in my opinion.
  • Puja
    Pizza_D: Any salesman worth his salt would respond to a, "I'm just browsing, thank you," with an, "Okay, give me a shout if you need any help." Believe it or not, a good salesman isn't a complete idiot and might've worked out that annoying people isn't the best way to do their job.
  • DF
    The thing about Fives and Milestones, its predecessor, is that they're supposed to be fairly relaxed low-pressure techniques, essentially making the customer think you're their friend, and to deliver good customer service. But then you've still got the KPIs which Sales Floor Managers demand you comply with. Fives isn't going to magically get all the customers buying the Three Mobile, Norton and Office, Techfriend and PC Performance options that DSG employees are pushed to sell.
  • Martin
    Does anyone know if comet staff are on commission? I find in my local one that the staff are dreadful for bugging you if you are browsing. Every two minutes a different member of staff will bug you about what you are looking for and so on. I tend not to walk out, as I am there to check out products before buying them online anyway.
  • Arnold
    @ Liddle ol’ me You're a very angry individual, what protests are you booked in for this week? Arsehole
  • derek
    Surely the answer to (1) is "camel"
  • Byron
    Liddle ol' me = Wanker!!
  • PC w.
    Frankly most of the staff in store are RETARDS, hungover or 'HUH DUNNO' teenagers who have just left school and think they are Sir Alan Sugar of the sales team ;) . I don't think many actually know what day it is or who they are (hence the name tag), I find a polite "thanks, I know what I need a lot better than you do" suffices leaving them to stare and dribble at the aquarium screensaver on the demo laptops for a while longer. Whilst at the till trying to purchase, the "we NEED your postcode" is met with a request for their own address usually meets with a prompt sale with NO details passed over :)
  • Rob
    It is one thing to provide customer service training but mimicing body language and attitude is manipulative and to me objectionable. They may as well have a room full of different football shirts to put on depending on which team the customer supports, if any!
  • Liddle m.
    Now, now, Arnold and Byron. Looks like it's you who are the angry ones ;-)
  • Dave
    Don't know about PCW but I used to work for Currys. Colleagues don't get commission as such - there is a store 'pay pot' based on the profit margin vs target that each store achieves. This is divided between staff based on what percentage of that pay pot the salesperson contributed to. Non-sales colleagues get a bonus based on store profit. Not commission per se but still encouraged to sell Norton (ugh... I preferred to sell Kapersky or OneCare, less margin but I could actually sleep at night), 'Product Support' (£5/month for a laptop would be reasonable IMO but the £8+/month they charge for most laptops is ridiculous and >45% margin), etc. To be honest I tended to focus on the accessories (that people usually needed) regardless of margins etc. In fact I tended to sell a lot of clearance (i.e. cheap) stuff with laptops/PCs/TVs/etc because (a) we usually still made _something_ and (b) we were targetted for clearance sales anyway.
  • Kevin
    I always wonder if there is the potential for a service point in large stores like Currys and PC World. You'd press a button and a light would come on, just like when you're in Tescos and the assistant needs a supervisor. One seeing the light and hearing the 'bing' a member of staff would come and help you. The staff aren't hanging around (as it'd be obvious to the person in the lookout) and you're not getting harassed by staff (wellmeaning or not)
  • Peter
    Interestingly enough, one of the complaints that came up when we last had a customer exit survey was that customers wanted to be approached and were more upset by being left alone than being constantly bothered.
  • PCW M.
    Hi, Ill give you a managers perspective. During my experience within PC World the company has tried a number of selling techniques to deliver key performance indicators, those products which make the company money and appeal to the market funders: customer retention, margin forecasts, customer base growth, etc,etc. These have nothing to do with, as people, we deem decent customer service. Core, 5 major generals, Encore, Milestones (an absolute disaster), and now Fives is a device the company sells to investors on the pretence that the company will make money. Since 1998 the company began cutting commission and from 2006 the company decided to implement a one team environment with no commission and poor bonus so now we end up in an environment where no one can be arsed to sell. In 2008 Fives came about after a visit to some magicians who used their 'force' to manipulate the idiots who are directors that we could use the powers of Derren Brown, and created the so called academy managers who are now devout followers of DB, to induce extra margin. The problem is, its now compulsory to use this FIVES but no one understands it but are afraid to say so as Keith Jones(director) and John Browett (MD) attended a session and thought it was the best thing ever (these droids arent the ones your looking for). It is ALL absolute bollocks as customer service is about advice & genuine concern, not mind control, just go into any PCWorld store and ask the advisors, the majority of the colleagues really want to help but they are stifled by the bullshit that comes down from directors wanting to increase their share price which is rightly at such a low.
  • PC S.
    For a few days now I have been reading these posts and I feel I musst voice y anger at those of you who lumber us all with the same stigma that we are 'retards' or 'stupid' or don't care. As an SFM (Sales Floor Manager) I pride myself of ensurinng good customer service at all times, THAT is always my priority. Come to my store and you will not wait to be served but you won't be pestered. What people seem to forget is the sheer volume of pressure placed upon staff to deliver. I have not worked in retail before this role and for me it's astounding the pressure these people are forced to deal with. I love my job and my heart goes out to everyone in these hard times, losing your job in these circustances is deserved by no one, even 'huh dunno' teenagers. PS, FAO 'PC Wont' (you missed an apostrophe there) I am a female 23 year old studying a degree in Literature, in my own time, from home, aside from the 50 + hours I do a week. I own my own home and this job enables e to pay my mortgage and study. To get to where I am has required dedication that you obviously don't understand, most PCW staff will agree with me when I say that most of us give a THOUSAND percent EVERY day and are let down by those few that dont' When you insult us you are making a mockery of people trying to work and achieve in order to simply keep their HOMES.
  • Currysbod
    For anybody in a sales evniroment (either retail, telesales, car showrooms, restaurants etc.), FIVES is not a revelation - it is just a basic structure that you probably do already. Think about it, engaging the customer, tailoring the sale, checking you're happy. Surely Sales Basics 101. It's about improving the customer experience in store, which lets face it is what everyone complains about in Currys and PC World (and like in John Lewis and Waitrose). Price is not always the issue. By taking customers through a structured journey, we can ensure that even the Saturday staff (PC Wont's 'Huh Dunno's) can offer good service and this is added to extended product training and sales department specialists and experts. We get just as much critiscism for not selling a £15 usb lead or £40 hdmi cable (whereby a customer cant actually use their new purchase because they dont have the right kit in the box) as we do for selling 'overpriced' essentials. The price is only relevant when people aren't getting the end result they want. "If I could offer you a printer that you can take home and use wirelessly and not have to worry about replacing AT ALL for 3 years for £XXX, would that be of value?" The answer is yes or no depending on what you want. There is no Paul McKenna mind bending here, its use of correct language to ascertain the answers to get the sale (lets face it, thats why we're there). But it does put the customer in the driving seat because the questions asked require the customer to think about their purchase.
  • PCWurld
    Fives would be useful except its another thing that the saels guys can be fired for, get a bad mystery shop and its the door for you. The fact that fives has to be used word for word with little or no deviation from what is written down, sucks. Your constantly thinking during your conversation with the customer.....umm have it said this...have i said that ...did i use the right wording....damn what was that he/she just said.. this is NOT A NATURAL way to behave with a Guest(customer) . Guest makes me laugh though, we are supposed to offer them solutions, products etc. The theory your house you offer them another cup of coffee, you wouldnt expect them to ask for one. I forget the last time i charged my friends for a coffee. There are some good points to fives but it's implemented badly and shouldn't be relied on to save the company.
  • Currysbod
    Do you really use it word for word? We certainly dont - there has to be some individuality or else you take away the service element. Maybe, you should sit down and work out how many different ways you can say the same thing e.g. hi, welcome, hello, alright, ok there etc. It's easy to ask the same things and tbh, if you cant remember 5 things you're going to have bigger issues in the long run. And it's a good thing that you're job is on the line. FFS, what the company have said is if your not perfomring, you're out (so thats on sales, kpi's and customer service). At least that way, the deadwood can be got rid of. If you're hitting all the targets and not using FIVES, you'll probably be fine.
  • wolf359
    wow there are an awful lot of dsgi staff here! its a pity so many of them will be redundant when the currys/pcw merger takes place, and even more when the whole group goes "tits up"
  • that f.
    Fives does not work in most circumstances and environemts, As Rafael Benitez would say....FACHT. The sad thing is that the top brass at DSGi think that this will save their company. They still cant see past the fact that every morning, in every store ,colleagues are bombarded with nothing but sales and kpi stats and how to overcome customer who think norton is totally shit when we all know it is. If they just recruited staff who actually knew their stuff and were able to provide and actual bit of knowlagable and friendly customer service. Instead they will always favour the lying Arthur Daily style bullshitter who gets them their daily KPI's they are chasing. It's these same people that actually tarnish the long term, and repeat spend relationship though.
  • 38 k.
    @ Liddle ol' me You my man are quite a Peckerwood. Ever heard of electromagnetic or radio frequency interference. Probably not, you head was probably inserted too far in your anus when some one tried to explain it to you. You don't have a 21 pin scart with crap inner cabling and no shielding on it and only seven pins connected doing the same job as a bloody good quality lead you muppet. And as far as lying... Your a pleb I have had customers come back and see me time after time to make another purchase and sent thier friends in to purchase off me because of the good advice and service they got.. Get a life LOSER.
  • long C.
    @Twat Tim who does Fives You are so wrong, Fives does work, just word it right .Through experience I have had so many customers just wanting a bog standard stand alone PC, used fives and they have walked out happy with all attach. You are obviously not doing your job properly bet you figures are crap!
  • PCWurld
    @long term CA I think your missing the point fives as a founsation in sound, but when you don't phrase the questions in the right way you loose points on your mystery shop, so you can't make it up. And if your using fives to sell norton and the customers still want something else your still bullshitting. And i bet many people have bullshitted without fives and achived the same results. at the end of the day we are not giving our opinion about products, we are forcing what the company wants us to sell, wether they want it or not.
  • long C.
    @Twat Tim who does Fives Your right, Fives dosen't have to be done in order like a script, word it right and it does work, mystery shop is not done by script as long as it is mentioned at some point! Everyone bull shits but as long as you report you fives journey back, you've done you job!
  • Darren
    I agree with the guy who called himself a TW*T you do get bombarded with so much sales jargon that it would be better to just do and sell what you are good at, and not be bombarded with KPI's etc... I have to admit, I have never seen anyone practice the FIVES, and nor would I like too, but I have to agree with some of the Sales Managers on here, why cant the staff be relaxed, listen to the wants and needs of customers when they ask for it etc... I know that I am an apple fanboy (big time) but just everything about the retail experience and service is brilliant. I recently visited a store to purchase a time machine and some other extra's but unfortunately I didn't realise how expensive it was, so rather than him push the brand on me he offered me an Apple Airport station and connect an external Lacie Hard drive, in effect turning it into a wireless Timemachine... giving me plenty of dough to buy some bose speakers!!, the guy was a legend, he even helped me register my speakers so I got some free games.. the service is second to none. PC world, need to ditch the purple image, ditch the uniforms and bring in a fresher look, Apple appears to both young and old consumers, PC World is stuck with looking after families or the average joe looking for a bargain. It is horrible losing your job, and I hope it all works out well, but come on if you dont like working there then move on! LIDDLE OL'ME - how wrong do you sound about AV Cabling, get a life and get a decent setup, and invest in some decent cabling, and if you are still using scart cables then shame on you!
  • Jakg
    Apple Kit = Ridiculously high profit. Most PC World hardware (i.e. PC's / Laptops) = 3% Profit. It's hard to encourage good customer service when non-WNR stores are understaffed, and WNR stores are over-staffed by people who usually don't have a clue what their doing.
  • Colin
    I'd agree about AV cables - got to love when PC World/Comet/Currys would like me to pay >£100 for an 8m HDMI cable when I could buy one of the same quality for £18 from a well-reviewed online cable store. It's not so much the fact that they sell the cables overpriced - after all, Monster et al are allowed to specify RRP - it's more how they push them. I once went into a store where they were comparing 'ordinary' RCA cables to Monster ones, and the only difference in picture appeared to be that someone had messed up brightness, contrast and any other settings they could find for the 'normal' picture. Seems pretty dishonest to me, and verging on illegal. High quality cables are important, but they hardly as expensive as some shops would like you to think. Saying that, it is nice when a salesperson (such as in Comet last weekend) goes out of his way to help. He did seem to be determined that I pay in his shop, regardless of where I got it from (e.g. pay, then collect from another branch) but I assumed that was just commission and that didn't really bother me. What I do dread whenever I buy anything from these stores is the extended sales warranty speech, it's just so...inevitable, both that they're going to try and push it and that I'm going to say no.
  • SomeOtherTech
    I love that people complain about things they haven’t got a clue about. Discount Seekers: Please, go to Tesco’s, do your shopping, and then complain to the manager that the price is too high, and demand that you get something free as you’re spending at least £25 on bread and milk. Stamp your feet like the children you are and get the spankdown you deserve. Fed up of customers like you. You want FREE SERVICES? I don’t think so. If you cock your machine up cos you’re downloading porn, or games through limewire, frostwire or any other program with ‘wire’ in it, clicking on every advert known to exist on all the social networking websites… do NOT go into store and demand that the TechGuys repair this for you free of charge. Because it is NOT accidental damage, it is NOT the manufacturers responsibility or ours that you have a ‘virus/malware/adware/crimeware free’ copy of your data to hand at any available point in time. I WILL charge you for being an idiot. I WILL charge you to transfer your data from the laptop you spilt coke over onto. And PLEASE, we can tell that you’re being a prat with your computer. Don’t come in and lie to me about how you use your computer. It’s really very simple. Do NOT come to me when you’ve installed multiple antivirus programs and want to know why you can’t get onto the internet. It’s because you’re an idiot. Sorry, i’ll rephrase that because it’s unfair and incorrect. You’re actually an ignorant idiot, yet you seem to think you’ve memorised the entire Sales Of Goods act or had it tatoo’d to your arse. Please… try to return Crysis or COD5 (after making an image and ripping off the serial code from inside the case.. doh…) and say that “It doesn’t work!”. If the disc is in perfect condition, take it home and take it up with the computer that’s running far below spec as you’re a cheap-skate that had a computer given from a brother in law who happens to work for Microsoft, yet everything is onboard or or it’s so old that it has a sticker on it saying how great it is with ‘NEW Win95 with 16mb of ultra lightning speed RAM, 33mhz processor with a turbo button to make it 66mhz’ woooooo you go with your high spec piece of shit which hadn’t even heard of a graphics card. If your game doesn’t run, take it up with the manufacturer of the game and get the appropriate patch for it. OR learn to read the system specifications requirement notice that exists on ALL pc games. Some cables overpriced? Really? Thanks for pointing that out to me, so don’t buy it and find somewhere else that sells it cheaper. OR just maybe, ask why it’s a little more expensive. There is a difference especially in the Belkin cables which are pretty damn high in the quality area. Go into a Hi-Fi shop and ask why their HDMi leads are over £150. PC Line ones are margin based so yeah they can be expensive, try looking at the online prices and reserve the bloody thing online. You might get it a little cheaper. PLLEEEAASSSEEE come into my store and demand the shit you want to demand…
  • Colin
    @SomeOtherTech Most of what you said there reeks of you thinking you know more about your products than you actually do, particularly regarding Belkin cable quality. It may be decent, but it's no more useful than the £18 cable avaiable online, if it works at 1080P over 8 metres. Spending any more is simply retarded. Your comments about random users, however, are valid, and such people certainly shouldn't expect free service because they filled their computer with trojans visiting porn sites - however, there's a difference between knowing about the latest graphics cards and why one configuration of CPU and RAM is superior to another which may have a bigger 'wow' factor, and knowing why an £18 HDMI cable from a reputable online shop is just as good as a £150 from Currys or any other random high street hifi store.
  • SomeOtherTech
    Ok, so a customer I had recently who wanted a centralised system with his entire house wired up for entertainment doesn't qualify? Not everyone sticks their cheap ass £100 bluray player directly under a £200 hdmi capable tv. Some customers actually want damn good quality. I've mentioned already that there is some justification in price difference with the example of the hi-fi shop selling ultra hi end cables for the extravagent prices. And actually, yes I do know a fair bit. Artifacts from signal interference, pixel loss, it all matters over distance. Also, not everyone is aware that the higher end machines that PC World sell actually contain the sought after SLACR stepping C2Q 2.4ghz G0 CPU. Which can be clocked up to a stable 3.8/4ghz with the right cooling. Or that the 7mp camera you can buy can beat the 12mp camera and why. I appreciate your point though.
  • Gary
    Another crap idea from hemel Really, whst do they do all day??? Its hillarious Remember when Gary Mc Leoud bought all those clearance laptops, it nearly sent the company under. Its like a group of idiots managing a business!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • JR
    As a 21 year old Business Management Student who also works for a DSG brand, I can tell you both from an academic and practical angle, that Fives is the most annoying aspect of the entire job. I have seen perfectly capable sales staff who, contary to comments like the ignorant "PC Wont", are incredibly knowledgeable and dedicated to their jobs. I agree, a few staff, as in all organisations, do it purely for the money. But there are others like myself, who are there to give the customer World Class Customer Service and to ensure they leave with everything they need to give you the best from your purchase. I do it, FOR ME. So I can sleep at night. NOT to fill the pockets of shareholders and senior management staff who do not have a clue what the needs of the customer are, nor do they care. Yes, you do need good quality cables to get the most from your television. Yes, you do need antivirus software for your computer. It is people like "PC Wont" that then return to the store, crying because they cant get the product to work properly, because instead of giving an expert a chance to explain the requirements, he thinks he knows right. As i mentioned before, some people are in the business to get their "beer money" for the weekend. There are others, and it is the majority im talking about here, that know exactly what they are talking about, exactly what you need, and are there to do this, for YOU! Since commission disappeared 2 years ago, most staff are in it now for the customer. Not for themselves. There are jobs out there that the staff I have had the privelige to work with would be able to do with ease. Many of my colleagues are superb and incredibly knowledgable in the goods that they sell. It is absolutely unjust and unfair for these arrogant "know it alls" to be tarring every single hard working member of staff with the same brush as the minority. Anyway, now I have that out of my system, I will give you my opinion about Fives. When I first heard about it, I was sceptical. As I mentioned before, studying the business world, I always take a keen interest when a new idea is thrown into the spectrum. But after taking the training, I began to see where the brain-boxes behind the process were coming from. Fives strengths is that it gives a structure to a task that needs to be done to get the cash in the tills. Therein, lies its weakness. Its turned the sales process into a robotic sequence of events that neither gives the customer a feeling of genuiness from the salesperson, nor a real confidence boost to the salesperson. The art of sales is just that; an art. I work with people who have seen an improvement with Fives, I have seen people who have seen a decline in performance with Fives. I, personally cannot stand the thing! It's not that I dont agree with it. It's not that I dont use it (Well, not it all because some parts are just plain ridiculous!). I just think that the management teams and the mystery shopping results should allow for a sense of "adventure". Sure, make sure you ask the right things, offer the services, sell the essentials, but don't have to run through the Fives way all the time. It takes the personality, the connection, the bond, the flow from the sale. Customers don't seem to like it. One guy said to me the other day, "Your not selling this to me. Currys is. Theyr'e telling you pretty much what to say, aren't they?". Customers, no sorry, GUESTS are seeing straight through it!!! What happened to asking someone if they were looking for anything in particular, if they were looking for any particular features, or, god forbid, a simple "Good Afternoon"??!!! Why ask someone who is stood looking at a Washing Machine, "what's brought you into Currys today?". Maybe, they're looking for a new car? Or even a new sofa?! Yes, Fives works. Yes, Fives gives a structure and guidance. However, it should be there as a tool at the salespersons expense. NOT a requirement.
  • DSGi B.
    [...] of the briefing highlighted the importance of the FIVES selling technique adopted by DSGi, so don’t expect to be left to browse at your own leisure; the document [...]
  • JC
    @wolf359 You malicious fucking bastard. I'm trying to earn a decent living to save up for my university studies this year (when really I could be travelling the world like any sensible gap year student) and you, you condescending arrogant twat, are talking about me and my fellow, mostly hardworking, colleagues losing our jobs! I joined Currys to HELP people and all i get all the time is people wanting us to go into administration ready for the "I told you so", oh and of course the prized discount you oh so desire to get one over us salespeople. You know what, come to my shop, I'll give you a penny off, now do you feel a bit better about your life sir?? Phew, anyway.. on a lighter note, I hated Fives when it first came out but I've managed to adapt it to suit and it's starting to really work for both me and my customers who have started to really appreciate the interaction it offers!
  • This B.
    [...] for a brighter future if we want to. PC World have been given untold amounts of grief for their FIVES customer programme, but maybe the staff were just trained incorrectly. Maybe this is the way to get [...]
  • Currys s.
    When fives first came out it sounded like a fantastic idea to give us some form of a structure(I had been there a year and only training I received was given to me by my best friend who started 2 hours before I did) and it seemed like a good idea to get around the 'are you okay there' 'just looking thanks' replies which makes it impossible to reapproach a customer. I've managed to improve a lot since learning fives but I don't use it as it is. It's too robotic and ingenuine. I will use part of it and might throw in the 'solution' room because I find that is a good way to find out what the customer had, what they want and what spec they want. It works for Currys and for the customers, allows me to guide the sale but make sure the customer gets what they want. But the KPI's, targets and the brand new Magic Number (attachments) is just way too much pressure. We have to get sky hd, premium leads, stands and warranties with tvs and norton, office, bag, disks, mobilebroadband, techfriend, databackup and warranties on laptops/computers - for every one of those we don't get our 'magic number' reduces. If the store doesn't meet the targets on all of those things (most have to be between 30 and 50% of all opportunities) three weeks in a row then that stores manager has just 8 weeks to meet them or lose their job. I've managed to meet all my targets for the past few months on pretty much everything by using fives in my own way - which is more than can be said for 80% of the rest of the staff (who have all tried just as hard but I don't see how we can be expected to sell these things in a recession!) but because I didn't follow fives word by word I had a disciplinary because of a mystery shopper. It's impossible to sell well in a comfortable way ( 'what brings you to the store today' sounds FAKE it's too awkward) please the company AND please the customers. Sadly until the company changes it's stance when it comes down to it with an almost-unhappy customer we have to choose the company over them or lose our jobs, which I for one cannot afford to do
  • PCPlanet
    Bottom line is FIVES is a great selling tool that is designed to find the perfect solution for customers. If you cannot sell using FIVES, you cannot sell in DSGI stores.
  • currysworker
    People who are saying that FIVES is a script etc clearly didn't listen on their training. I used to hate FIVES, but last week I actually went and had proper training for it- and guess what, it's not a script at all. It's a structure for you to base your questions around so you don't miss stuff out which the customer might not have thought about, and as long as you use positive language etc, you wont be marked down on your mystery shop because it's not a script. oh, and it's not guest any more either. It's customer again - spread the word :) and just to add - everyone saying DSGi staff are stupid, or should lose their jobs etc - how would you like it if someone said to you 'oh you're stupid, I hope you lose your job and then can't afford to eat or keep your house. hahahaha wouldn't that be great?' In any case, I'm not stupid, and I'm very good at my job, and you have no right to make judgements about people you don't even know. And the person who said 'even saturday staff' - I'm a "saturday girl" and I'm great at my job, thanks. There's a guy at my work who's a Saturday guy, and he's just got a job as an expert at the new WNR that's opening. So don't make judgements about weekend staff either because it doesn't make them any worse at their job, and in fact I know many weekend staff who are far better at their jobs than the full-timers.
  • cheesed o.
    I wish my manager would read this site........He is sooooo pig headed that 5s has to be said word for word parrot fashion and thats why we hate doing it. Its not 5s that we hate so much...its that fact that we cant make it personal to our guests...and they know it!!
  • Dave N.
    One of the things that has come through when reading some of the comments here, is the underlying contempt that many DSGi staff actually have for their customers. SomeOtherTech's post of Feb 4th clearly shows this more than the others, but is not alone in doing so. Contrary to what SomeOtherTech says, customers are not, on the whole, looking for a free service; just a good one that has, at it's heart, good customer experience and value for money. What people get in DSGi stores, is the hard sell style of business from often disingenuous assistants, and ridiculous sales techniques from head office. All of which breeds contempt for the customers who fail to tow the line or question/reject said policies and practices. Telling people to go to TESCO's and try complaining in the same way, demonstrates the scope of the attitude problem... There is a reason why TESCO's stores are not wobbling on the brink of failure, and benefit greatly from a huge "return business" trade, and why DSGi stores are not.... people don't NEED to go in to TESCO's and complain in the same way, because they don't feel ripped-off and manipulated by the staff once the push the trolly out of the doors. The cable price points raised, were spot-on, and illustrate perfectly why people are wising-up rapidly and taking their business elsewhere. It's simply astounding that subsequent posters tried to claim that such a huge markup for peripherals was a quality thing, rather than a shoddy, tired and patently obvious attempt at fleecing genuine customers out of as much as possible whilst they have their wallets open. It simply isn't a good business model to try and flog perepherals and add-ons at outrageous margins to customers who have already engaged in good-faith commerce by buying a main item.... A customer that has bought a £500 product, WILL NOT leave feeling satisfied with the transaction, if he leaves the store having been "smarmed" into lashing out another 4 or 5 hundred quid on peripherals, add-ons and unnecessary warranties (and you all know as well as we do that such warranties are largely unnecasary). You can pretty much guarantee that such customers are not only going to be dissatisfied customers, they're going to share their unhappiness with other potential customers and starve the business of word-of-mouth secondary sales. Watching a parade of DSGi staff come on here and moan about how the majority of staff are not like this, demonstrates that far from accepting the reality of their failings, they are in denial. The "few bad apples" argument might wash if sales figures were not near terminal (even before the recession) and widespread personal customer derision wasn't commonplace... but that's not the case, is it. I recently went to buy a printer from a DSG outlet, for around £120. Most other retailers would be happy at the sale, but not this lot... Pressure was applied to buy the ink for £40... even being told by the assistant that I HAD to because the printer didn't include ink (despite the box clearly saying it did). I was then told I needed additional USB cables (again, wrongly being told that the printer didn't include them) at another £20. Then the paper (£5 for plain paper that cost a quid or two in any supermarket) Then we got to the dreaded after sales package (used to be called the extended warranty, but God knows what they call it now). In the end, I told them to put it back on the shelf, and here's why: I didn't want to buy a product from a bunch of people who think "Right, we've got a live-one here, how do we fleece him for as much as we can!" I bought the same printer online for around £80 (£100 including P&P). Nobody tried to sell me extra ink and cables for 3 times their cost (they certainly didn't try to lie and say I had to because the item didn't come with them) and nobody tried to sell me a warranty which the SOGA provides for free for up to six years as a statutory requirement (accidental damage is covered by my domestic insurance, so please don't try and tell me it isn't or that my excess is greater than the cost of your warranty - it isn't either btw, but thanks anyway to the in-store assistant who seemed to think he knew my own policy terms better than I did.) Do you all deserve what's coming if DSG goes down the tube? Probably not, but then again Elvis didn't deserve to die on the toilet... having said that, he didn't do himself any favours eating two foot tall burgers three times a day, did he.
  • el s.
    Well DSGI will bring about Fives and its madness i tell you having shoped at one store in London recently they are on a mission to destroy all cusotmer relations and want to sell you everything bar the kitchen sink. I mean all you want is a simple cooker and then a next person goes to me you want to take up SKY TV what the fuck has SKY got to do with my fukcing cooker.... beggers belive i tell you its madness or data backup when i am trying to buy a packet of batteris etc.. its madness totally and of course nortons and office is the religion of the store. i tel you.. totall madness
  • Graham
    PCW suck and all they intend to do and have done for several years is to RIP OFF every customer and they do it very weel. I am en ex manager with the company Poor Customer World (PCW) and senior managers bully, intimedate and force colleagues into achieving targets for their own incentives and bonus believe me its true, sack from GM up re-invest with dedicated people from the shop floor who have a passion and desire to succeed (unlike the GMs) and just maybe PCW will succeed.
  • Graham
    Has anyone been made redundent in PCW???? state your claim here.
  • Graham
    I challenge any MD in DSGi to go under cover within your stores and find out the real truth about the integrity of some of your GMs they are suppose to lead the way and set examples and standards in line with company policy and procedures you will be amazed to say the least (purely shocked and ashamed) of your so called respected and highly paid managers.
  • mike
    Hi Graham I absolutely agree ,Iremember sitting in on a catalyst meeting when gorge benneloch came to visit telling and promisind everyone he cant stand having managers in his business that LIE or CHEAT their way to the top for personal gain. So why are there still gms in the business of this caliber ??? I believe that top level management doesnt really no whats going on at shopfloor level. Its a shame because it WAS a great company.
    In reply to most of these Comments we are in a ressesion and like any company that people work for if we dont turn over money we dont have a job, as we see it in DSGI its about making the most of our customer and making the way we speak to them the best unlike other companies and just to let you know, i work for the company and youve got the rooms completely wrong. you have them all muddled up in the wrong order, room one for example is NOT what brings you into currys today its simply called a greet+1 which is incase you are too stupid to work out hello/good morning/afternoon/evening and also how are you but you have to say it in the way of how the customer is feeling but of corse you idiots wouldnt be able to do this. DSGI is a good company they do not brain wash there staff as to the KPI we just want our customers to make the most of there product because if we did not offer them the right essentials they would be quite annoyed if they had a product that didnt work the way they wanted it do. DSGI is a strong company and turned over £8 billion last year and Comet will be gone soon as for best buy they dont have a chance as the currys stores are undergoing a refit which kills any shop out there.
  • Customer s.
    I currently work for dsgi in customer services and since the implementation of fives returns,complaints and clearing up problems caused by my collegues has halved. If your buying something surely its better that your asked exactly what you need to get it working the way want, than get it home and realise you need more cables ? The whole idea of fives is to give the customer what they need. If you know exactly what you want then you shouldnt be bothered by the questions the sales staff ask you as you will know how to answer them. They're only making sure you have what you need. Trust me in the past ive had that many people coming back because they've limewired they're hard drive to death, cant get they're surround sound to work with normal tv, dont understand why they're 5 year old camera wont work with an 8gb memory card,cant understand why they're freesat box wont work when they have no satelite dish,don't get why they're ps3 looks rubbish on they're 1080p tv through the £5 hdmi cable they got from tescos. You might be a fanboy and know everything about everything but the majority of customers we deal with dont so we have to ask the questions. If you're that bothered about it go buy online, from argos or a supermarket where you will get no advice and no after sales service.
  • Customer s.
    @ Dave Ninetynine The sales of goods act as you would know if you actually read it only entitles you to service up to six years after purchase if you can prove that there was a manufactural default at time of sale. Which normally means you have to get an external engineers report and then the company or manufacturer has to provide a repair service in a 'reasonable' amount of time or compensation for purchase of a new product, taking in to account the amount of use you had out of current product before breakdown.
  • Dave N.
    Actually, I know enough about the Sales of Goods Act to know that a recent popular TV consumer program rounded on a particular DSGi company for deliberately misleading consumers as to their rights under the act using pretty much the same argument you just used. A "manufacturing fault at the point of sale" is just one element of the protection covered under the act. It is not a prerequisite for protection under the act, and protection is not exclusive to just that element. You obviously get your training in law from the same people who were telling DSGi consumers they weren't covered by the act, when in fact they were. To address directly your rather tired interpretation of the act (which, as I've already implied, seems deliberately selective) a consumer need not "prove that there was a manufacture default at time of sale." He/she simply has to demonstrate that the goods were not of sufficient durability or quality that a reasonable person would expect for the price and product - In other words, a £700 computer/TV/etc that fails after a year and a half is not "fit for purpose" because a reasonable person would expect such an appliance to last much longer than that. A simple engineers report that the goods have failed through use (and not misuse) is all that would be required in the courts to successfully sue for a repair or replacement under the SOGA. The fact that you are still spewing out such legal claptrap is indicative of the attitude which landed that particular DSGi retailer in the hot water with that TV consumer program.
  • It’s B.
    [...] then you’re missing out on the curious world of rooms, positive body language and NLP - the DSGi sales training known as FIVES, which we explained in detail several months [...]
  • Mewling P.
    What a bunch of tosh-cock
  • No G.
    Please bear a thought for the staff at Currys and P.C World. Not many (if any) of us like 5's. We all (those that are half decent at there job anyway) use the Taylor and Solution bit in our own way. Some of us have worked for the company for years and are suddenly being told that, for all you are pulling in well over your targets selling the way you are, you MUST use 5's or face the consiquences!!!!!
  • no g.
    Posted by PCPlanet | May 26th, 2009 at 6:53 pm Bottom line is FIVES is a great selling tool that is designed to find the perfect solution for customers. If you cannot sell using FIVES, you cannot sell in DSGI stores. "If you cannot sell using FIVES, you cannot sell in DSGI stores". If that is so How come I am top Full time sales in our store (For the Last 2 years i might add) and I Do Not use all of 5's and haven't done for over five years. Oh and by the way I have a lot of repeat custom so you can't say my customer service is bad either. Fives isn't completly useless I must admit but to be tol you cannot sell for DSGi unless you use it is TOSH, and to be mystery shopped on using it is a farce
  • Tom
    For what I heared, Fives was done by one of the top marketing reachers out there. Fives is not, not about twisting people or turning people into robots, it's ment to be a better way of selling, that if used correctly, provides a far better and friendler cusromer experience. For example, What, how and why can be used in a conversation to get a better responce to a question, giving the advicer more information to get a better understanding of what a customer really needs and how to solve an issue. Some people may not be using fives correctly, but when it is used correctly, it is ment to be a tool box to help customer advicers to find better solutions and offer a greater customer experience in all areas.
  • no g.
    Posted by Tom | October 5th, 2009 at 11:09 am For what I heared, Fives was done by one of the top marketing reachers out there. Fives is not, not about twisting people or turning people into robots, it’s ment to be a better way of selling, that if used correctly, provides a far better and friendler cusromer experience. For example, What, how and why can be used in a conversation to get a better responce to a question, giving the advicer more information to get a better understanding of what a customer really needs and how to solve an issue. Some people may not be using fives correctly, but when it is used correctly, it is ment to be a tool box to help customer advicers to find better solutions and offer a greater customer experience in all areas. I'm sorry but I do not think going up to a customer a reciting a script is good customer service, gets the right solution or provides a greater customer experience. I think being yourself, not putting the customer under any pressure to buy, being comfortable with what you are offering the customer and not necissarliy going for the profit in a sale but suiting the customers needs are far better. I do not want to make it sound like fives is a waste of space because it isn't, BUT I do not belive we should be made to use it like a script. A lot of our customers look in a nearby bigger branch and then come to us because we are more friendly in our store, BUT if we use fives where will the difference be then!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE WAY TO SELL IN MY OPINION IS TO MAKE THE CUSTOMER COMFORTABLE BY BUILDING A RAPORE WITH THEM THROUGH FRIENDLY CONVERSATION, USE EXAMPLES ON HOW YOU USE THE PRODUCT THEY ARE LOOKING AT AND INTRODUCE SERVICES AS YOU GO, FIVES WITHOUT THE SCRIPT. (SIMPLE)
  • pamela n.
    five put pressure on staff and tell them what to sell, the cust might wana spend 150pound on a route and might not want online data backup wbw discounted for numbers, staff need product trainng, cust might want 3000pound slr not a compact camera with hero. who in curry pcw know about streaming, remember the streaming advert was gReat and got footflow but staff used fives but did know wh t streaming is now that's rea bad planning by the company and managers should be sacked for not getting staff product trained coz the store looses customer
  • excurrys
    I am an ex currys employee and have worked for them twice (once when I graduated in 2003 for 6 months) and then last October when I was made redundant from my other job. Fives is a good sales structure, what a lot of people forget is that salespeople don't want grief or aggro when things go wrong, so in a way by using fives I found the amount of issues the store had to deal with on a day to day really dropped (anyone else notice this?) If you don't like DSGi please don't shop there, f*ck off somewhere else and leave those poor salespeople alone - they don't want to serve your annoying "i'm better than you because I work in an office" and downright condescending moronic persona.
  • SickOfCurrys
    I have been working for these soulless fascists for several years now. I hate FIVES and I hate how it has been drilled into everyones heads like some sort of Nazi brainwashing campaign. Coverplan or "whateverhappens" is pushed so prominently to the customers and employees are basically told EVERY day "Dont forget to push coverplan... Every customer has got to be converted". I for one, am sick of all the bullshit and brown-nosing in this pathetic company. I am going to work to make sure that DSGi are exposed for ripping off the public and mistreating their colleagues... I will make sure every last media source knows how they really are behind closed doors... .. So DSG, You can all prepare for some serious negative attention.. Declan Ronayne, Keith Jones and all you other people in the upper echelon... I hope you read this just before your pathetic little "empire" crumbles... Yours bitterly, A disgruntled employee.
  • Ex M.
    I dont think anyone with a higher title than customer advisor within pc world/curry's etc is not in touch with reality. In fact no one other than the sales advisors ever has to sell, they just march around giving orders about how to sell. i would actually like to see one of the managers get of their arse and when the store is busy pitch and do their bit!! Is that too much to ask! Even though i was one of the top performers in the store the dirty looks i would recieve if i failed to achieve the KPI's on each sale was just alarming. As for FIVES - well what a bunch of shit that was, 5 days training delivered in the typical double glazing sales style! I have neer been so bored in my whole life. And once returning to the store i can honesty say i hardly used the fives responses and only when in earshot of the managers would pop the odd FIVES question in for a bit of arse kissing! I also find it shocking that we had a sales floor training person who would alongside the other managers walk about and make sure we were using the correct FIVES terminology. DSGi i can honestly say throw good money up the f*cking wall day after day and forget about general good honest sales. Most of my sales came from being honest, polite, on a level with the customer, not pushy and certainly not using FIVES. Where do they recruit their managers/tossers! I am sure they could make the GM's redundant and stors would run perfectly the same without them. GLAD to be an ex employee!!
  • DSGiGuy
    @Dave Ninetynine , The SOGA DOES NOT give a six year warranty for free, I'm sorry, but you are wrong. The level of "Compensation" you are entitled to will vary during the six years, and in all likelyhood, the best you would be entitled to will be a part payment towards a repair, possibly a part payment towards a replacement and the further you get into that six years, the lower that will become. I'm not saying that you would not get a free repair if the product is one year and one day old, but lets be real here, it will probably be older. And if you wish to make a claim after six months of owning the product, the onus IS on you to prove the fault was there at the time of purchase, and not due to missuse, neglect or fair wear and tear. The cost of your independent report would be reimbursed should your claim be successful. This is correct and not unreasonable. To all the people that complain about all the add ons that are "thrust" upon them, how pissed off would you be when you got home with that nice new shiny tv and bluray player, only to find that the IDIOT in the store had not offered you the decent cable to link the two together? People seem very quick to condem the sales guys for pushing the add ons, but these extras are more often than not a benefit to the customer, people are just always suspicious that they are being had. Tesco are'nt pushy? really? what about when they up the price of petrol by a few pence per litre, then miraculously give you a voucher at the end of your shopping trip entitling you to 5p off per litre, when you buy petrol from them in the next week or so? or the clubcard scenario, where you receive £s in vouchers which make you think, hang on, i better go back and earn myself some more of these vouchers! the additional product specific vouchers you recieve at the same time are TARGETTED at you from previous spends. In fact, we bought tesco own brand nappies last week, and with my receipt, the till also produced a voucher entitling me to £1 off pampers nappies, which still works out more exspensive than own brand ones, and they are'nt trying to manipulate me? they are no diferent than ANY other retail company, they are in it for the money, and they want as much as possible from you, why are you people so angry and surprised that a company such as DSGi are wanting to make profit? The cable debate. It is true, it does not matter how much a HDMI cable costs, as long as it is version 1.3a or higher, it will give you 1080p resolution at the same quality, whether it costs 99p or £199. Analogue cables (Scart, RCA etc.) are a diferent kettle of fish, a cheap cable will give you a poor performance, and expensive one will give you a good performance. fact. I could go on, but I've ranted enough.
  • Craig
    i have been working for pc world now for quite some time now and i must say i have never heard of any employees using mind games to trick you into buying products. The fives scheme we were all taught really did help me out. i was scared i would not know what to say to customers, but following this method gave me a plan to follow so i could not go wrong. business's are designed to make money. EVERY single company will try to sell you their services. you sit through advert upon advert on tv, with no doubt more brainwashing skills than any sales assistant. Do you complain about that?.. Didnt think so. Without making sales the store will not stay open. if the store does not stay open you do not get cheap prices. why are you all complaining?
  • Name?
    I am still currently working at PCW and regarding fives, yes its a good structure but my experience working there is pretty much Bullshit! As i understand Fives is designed to help the "Customer" fulfill there solution! But as a sales staff we are pressured into selling customers the stuff we "think" they want to "Boost" sales which is pretty much bollocks! If we dont hit certain KPI figures we end up on a ridiculous company scheme where u can end up losing your job! and i've seen this at 1st hand! And the so called "Bonus" structure is absolute utter bollocks! All in all i want a new job!
  • Dave N.
    @ DSGiGuy... another re-quote from the DSGI afternoon training lecture on the SOGA? Or perhaps it was taken from the afternoon they taught you how to sell overpriced and unnecessary warranties by poo-pooing the SOGA? Either way, I stand by my earlier comments re the SOGA, which are, of course, impartial and correct.
  • Rick F.
    the five structure is ok / but i guess no one likes being forced to use it / i have never used fives in currys and have always managed to sell more than my peers. infact back in the days i was sales person of the year. when we do not meet our targets we get a "one to one" that really scary and after that you have 3 month to meet your target or your fired / i was a victim of this shit. some customers including the old consumers are f---ing stingy?
  • Tony
    It's shocking here, reading the posts from customers (or those too haughty to shop in store, and merely peruse the items to then go purchase online, safe in the knowledge that they have "used" the store.) who seem accusatory of DSGi trying to make a profit. It's a business. I'm not ashamed for one minute to accept that as part of the company, I contribute towards making profit. I want to paid, thanks. I'd like a bonus, thanks. What you're confusing, however, is that desire for money directly correlates to integrity. If we didn't make money, there would be no wages for colleagues. If there are no colleagues, there are no stores. If there are no stores, then of course you have your trusty internet sites to fall back on. But if there are stores, then the internet sites have no reason to offer you the cheapest possible price (oh, guess what, they're still making a profit...) and they'll simply raise their prices. You guys are just determined to find something to moan about, something to criticise. I wholeheartedly agree that the company has a bad reputation. One of the main faults was that the colleagues were never particularly well trained; we've always had a very high colleague turnover. Many of them are part time staff who just want a job to go with college, or uni or whatever. Many of them don't care, but some of them do. A lot were pressured into selling extras, whether they were needed or not. Now, "extras" are comparable to robbery in your eyes, whether you need them or not. FIVES does many things. It does allow a manager to evaluate whether or not a customer is being engaged properly. If Mr Smith isn't being engaged properly, it suggests the colleague might not be suitable for his job. If he's not suitable for his job, maybe (definitely...) he shouldn't be working for us, if he can't turn it around. FIVES is a method of selling that allows the colleague to fully explore the customer needs and wants. It was initially very badly launched, admittedly, and we were given the impression that it had to be word for word. That our customers were "guests". These little things were hiccups that have been taken care of. Now, it's very much about going through the five rooms, in any order, or even missing them out, depending on the situation. But it's a starting point. How can somebody expect to know when to use Room 3 (Solutions) if they don't know what it is? As an experienced employee, I disliked FIVES because of how it was launched. I couldn't make it my own, I had to do as told. Thus, I didn't use it. And now, a year or so on, it has been refined and improved. It's about making the experience in store about the customer. Ensuring Mr Smith gets what he wants, and just as importantly, that he gets what he NEEDS so what he wants is possible, can be discovered using a selling structure. Some of you are complaining that targeting the employee is pressure. That the employee failing to meet these targets and subsequently losing his job is unfair. Using FIVES is a requirement of your job. Deal with it. But then, a lot of you are also complaining that the level of service you've received in store is rubbish. Well, which is it that you want? DSGi want competent, knowledgeable and personable colleagues that won't cause a bad experience for the customer. We can highlight those that aren't performing, those that may be causing aggravation with yourselves, and offer them the chance to correct their ways. If they don't, rather ruthlessly, they're gone. And you don't get their poor level of service anymore. What's the issue here? We don't want bad colleagues any more than you do. I'm aware I've tackled this post in a highly unstructured manner, but hey, I'm off work, I don't have to use FIVES...oh wait, I forgot, FIVES is flexible. FIVES is a fantastic way, when used correctly, to give every customer in every store every minute World Class Customer Service. By all means, let me hear your thoughts.
  • MrNegative1967
    I have worked for dsgi on and off for over 8years now, and what I, and everyone else needs to realise is, they always have a structure, it may change every year, milestones, fives, etc, but at the end of it all they only have one goal, sell u whateverhappens, coverplan etc, but if the goods they sold where as good as they say, why would u need them. For dsgi it is a legal way for them to print their own money. Admittedly weh is far better a service than coverplan but it is still a rip off and if u pay it monthly, it is robbery. Compare the monthly cost to a 3year plan and u will see, u pay about 4 times the price. Staff knowledge? That is a completely different arguement, but if u wanna know bout that, then just ask, u will be amazed. Pc world
  • Person
    From working with this company from the past, my experiences are that some of the managers seem not to care at all about ever the staff or the customers. To them, it maybe all about the figures and keeping them selves in the job, even if that's at the expence of the customer or good members of staff. I have now left and stopped buying of them, as I can now get all my needs from other providers in the area.
  • Person
    But I do have stories of when some managers, may have used staff/customers to feel better about their own insecuritys in life. To some of the managers in this company, it maybe all about having a power trip and feeling important, than doing a job, keeping good members of staff in the business and giving customers what they want, or/and need.
  • neversteady
    I think the problem here is actualy very simple. Are companies such as Currys and Comet actualy retailers or not? Retailers, in pretty much every other line of business, believe in the 'retail is detail' maxim. They will have the layout of the store designed at head office and pushed out to all branches. Different plans for different sizes. The staff will be there for the assistance of customers not to 'sell' to customers. Shelves will be merchandised, replenished and faced up. When I talk about merchandising at the store I work at to the managers, they look quite blank! But finding a stack of kettles in the oven section!!! Currys (who currently employ me) seem to be stuck between the US and Europe in their thinking. They seem want the US style whooping and hollering for the top sales guys and gals, but in a typicaly British shopping environment, and it ust doesn't work with the cynical British public! I have been talked through the fives thing by one of the managers but have yet to do the course and it occured to me half way through the blah blah, that the guy telling me all this was not customer focused but customer sale focused and if you want to earn any decent money you have to be!! The basic is so poor that you wonder why anyone sticks it, but it has become apparent in a very short time that senior management rely on the loyalty of the underpaid staff to keep the money rolling in nd on people like me who don't want to be on the dole and just need to work. So yes, I will stay and yes I will follow the structure laid out for us by people who have never had to work in a store and, even worse I will sell even when I don't beleive in it, because, (unless some of you out there want to fund my mortgage), I NEED the money.
  • trisha
    i just want to say to all the above. i work for dsgi and using fives is just a tool for us to help the customer through the sale, ensure they know what they are buying and making sure that u go home with the correct products. so i just need to say something mostly every colleague is polite and well trained to do this we dont always believe what head office make us do and i would say at least 70% of customers dont really know or undersand what they are buying so why do u have to be such arseholes to us rude, walk into the shop break things ie 3d glasses touch what is not theirs, rude to colleagues complain about everything then have the cheak to ask for discount, do you think we could just say fuck off your a total twat like your doing to us..... the times i wished that i knew where the twatty customers worked just so i could complain about them.... i wonder how u would feel........
  • James
    For anyone wanting a career/job with them, don't.
  • Joe
    Within Currys and PC World, attachments are everything. You can sell 1,000 televisions a week, make the company actual serious profit but unless you sell stands, leads, sky etc you will categorically lose your job. Sad world when last time I checked, retail and customer service was to give the customer what they want, not every possible cable/stand under the sun and a much lower bank balance than they required. I recently had to endure a lunch break with my extremely pushy manager, who stated that "if the company didn't sell attachments, we'll go bust." Surely customers would pay £40 more for their television than have the frankly brainwashing fives selling technique. That, in my opinion, would make profit, better customer service and better staff morale. For the few people still reading this and disagreeing with what I'm saying a colleague of mine who works just Sundays since Christmas has made the company profit every week of being in since she started. Her sales make more margin than she is paid and makes more than many full timers in the same time frame, however she is weekly reviewed and is now on performance review for bad sales yet customers come back for her and she makes the money, surely ticking all retail boxes? But, of course, because she doesn't get Norton, leads, stands etc 100% of the time she's worried about her job and with cause. The last post simply says "wanting a career/job with them, don't". I have to agree, based on current methodology we WILL go bust. We will go out of business and what makes it worse is that the t******* who have caused all this are the ones who will walk into other jobs.
  • DSGiFanBoi
    Joe, it's a good thing that her sales make more margin. Unfortunately its not that simple, an employees wage in any company is simply a small slice of the large overheads pie. For any business to succeed and grow it must intake more than it spends. Staff targets in any company are there to wittle out the underachievers, the disinterested, the lazy, the non-commital while letting people who are passionate about the role a chance to work as a valued team member. In all fairness if your friend is working on sundays (the second busiest retail day of the week) and not assisting customers by letting them know that they will need HDMI cables to enjoy their new HD TV then he/she is doing a disservice to customers. Statistically speaking the number of customers she speaks to will match her KPI for leads, etc. Last time I checked, Norton wasn't a KPI, it was a choice of Antivirus, Antivirus being the KPI (the reason for this is that everyone who uses the internet should be protected) and with the half price WBW offer for norton 360 its actually saving customers who choose to use Norton money. If she's worried 100% of the time I would imagine that comes across when she's speaking to customers and perhaps her helpful knowledge is then misinterpreted into pushing things they dont want. Joe, it's a shame you choose to use the wage you get from the company that pays you to help fund the running of the computer your using to slander them. I believe you should have a chat with your manager and try and sort out your concerns as it seems there's more to your own personal unhappiness. When I worked for the company I loved it, not many companies are willing to invest in their employees to the extreme way that Dixons Retail do. ------ If your the type of person who likes to help people and can accept that customers are naturally suspicious. If you can reassure them and provide good evidence that what you advise is good advice. If your passionate about technology and enjoy finding out about new things on a daily basis. Then this job is definately for you. However if you dont like taking responsibility, if you can't help people, if you can't provide a good service by getting to know your customers, if you can't fulfil your customer's personal needs. - then “wanting a career/job with them, don’t”.
  • DSGi E.
    For all the people out there who say DSGi are just out to make money - they are a business for goodness sake! Fives is a selling technique much like the selling techniques that I have been taught in every other sales job I have had! Every "retail" business is about sales, not just stacking shelves and letting customers choose for themselves. Do you really think that DSGi is the only retail group that has a sales structure and sells accessories and services alongside their products to make more revenue? Get in the real world! Basically, we can't win; if we advise you on cables etc, we're in the wrong and being pushy, yet if you get home and your tv won't work, we'd be in the wrong for not telling you that you needed something else to go with it! And to whoever was saying some drivel about the SOGA covering you for X amount of years because you can take them to court etc... who wants to go to the hassle of dragging Panasonic or Samsung or the like through court because their tv is broken? Who would want to be without a tv for the length of time it would take to get a result from the courts? Some customers would prefer to pay a bit extra at the time of their purchase to ensure that should their purchase break down, it will be repaired or replaced within a reasonable timeframe. WEH is a damn good service - believe me, I'm a member of staff but also a WEH customer, and I've made a claim and had it sorted in a very quick and efficient manner. If you don't like Fives, don't like DSGi and are under the misguided impression that no other company operates any kind of sales techniques such as Fives, then bugger off to these other mythical shops and have fun randomly buying things with no advice or help. Just don't come whinging to me when you can't use the damn things, or you choose the completely wrong item! That is all :)
  • DixonsAreGood
    People that moan about FIVES don't seem to have had a sales job before, or at least a sales job that offered good quality sales training. I used to work in medical sales before I got made redundent and we used to use an adaption of what is called Spin Selling which is a sales technique that is similar to FIVES where it's asking the right questions to understand the customers needs. An example would be a situation question to clarify the customer's current situation, in FIVES this would be something like "are you replacing your laptop?" "what did you love about it?" etc. But with SPIN, a bit like FIVEs, is about asking questions to understand the Situation, Problem, Implications. The SPIN method, like many other approaches, is a kind of 'hurt and rescue' approach. You find their problem and then by exposing the things that might happen you then rescue them with your product, this bit would need implication questions where you would discuss the effects of the problem, before talking about solutions, and develop the seriousness of the problem to increase the buyer's motivation to change. Read ANY sales book and you will see a mix of SPIN, FIVES and some light NLP.
  • DSGi E.
    Having read through some of the replies, and the original post, I have had to laugh at this. The original poster did get the FIVES rooms correct, but FIVES has since been modified as it was found staff were being far too static with their approach on the whole "what brings you to our store today?" rubbish. I've worked for DSGi in Currys, PCW and Currys.Digital stores and I was the sales training leader (or "FIVES Embassador") while working in a PCW Superstore and, when used correctly, FIVES is a really great sales TOOL (not tactic or brainwashing method) to aid you in your sales. Many people employed in to sales in DSGi are not well-versed in computers, TVs or other electrical items, but learn along their way. FIVES gives staff an easy framework to use to remember all the questions you need to ask a customer to make sure they're walking out the door with all the right products they need. Yes there are targets to achieve but that's no different to any other BUSINESS. If you had a business selling lots of low margin products and one selling lots of high margin products then it's obvious which is going to be the better business. This is all DSGi are doing. The fact they provide an easy way of exploring this for colleagues and customers is just helpful. Having worked on and run the Tech Guys desk at my previous store, I cannot possibly explain the number of times I had a customer come back complaining that X doesn't work on their laptop, that they don't know how to do Y or that they needed Z for their new TV and didn't know about it. It's these types of people that FIVES is designed for; so you can establish a customers knowledge level, their current product and what they may need with them to take home the complete solution, saving them an irritated return trip to the store to purchase extra stuff they didn't realise they needed. It's so annoying getting customers come in who have to pay £30 a time for software support on their laptop because they haven't the faintest idea how to do anything on it, when if they just had the advice at point of sale on their Whatever Happens guarantee or the other support services we offer, they could have all the support they ever need or want, in home/over the phone as much as they need for a minimal cost. People who complain about sales colleagues and the extras they're selling you, know what you can do? BUY IT ONLINE. You can avoid any annoying questions and just buy that one item you think you need, but don't come crying to DSGi when it stops working or you need something else you didn't realise you needed because you're arrogant or stupid enough to think: a) you know best b) your mate who works in IT can fix that c) your IT guy at work can get you a copy of that d) you can download the same thing free off the internet or e) you can get it cheaper from somewhere else. I am so fed up of dealing with cocky customers who come back and then get shitty that the repair they need is NOT under standard manufacturer guarantee and they'll have to pay for it. GOD DAMN RIGHT YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR IT. Nothing in this world is free and if you're too thick to restore a PC yourself or use a proper internet security package that actually protects your computer then maybe you should have listened to that poor sales person in store and BOUGHT THE ADDITIONAL SUPPORT OR PRODUCT AT THE SAME TIME. /Rant.
  • DSGI E.
    Some completely contradictory perspectives on here... But from being with DSGI for a couple of years under a string of different managers, I can tell you that whether fives is good are bad is entirely down to the attitude of that store manager in question. The good ones will make it clear that FIVES is just a template for helping you to find out what the customer really needs and send them home happy... and they'll let you adapt it to fit your own natural style and personality. As long as you're getting *reasonable* KPIs (or can give a good reason why not, and are open to be caoched to improve if there's something you're regularly dropping the ball on), then they're happy. The bad managers, however, will give you exactly the same description of what FIVES is about... and then proceed to nag you and harass you over every customer who walks away from you without a full set of cables and WEH contract. Why? Because they want their store's KPIs to be top of the region, and they don't give a damn how much stress they cause in the workplace or how many custoners they piss off in the process. Some of them refuse to believe that any customer could legitimately not *want* Whatever Happens, or extra cables, or to switch from their original choice of the basic Norton package to the fuller "Norton 360", and will regard every such customer as a failure on your part. So without changing anything about what you do or how you do it, you can go from being one manager's favourite example of "how to make customers happy and make sure they come back to us again" to being in fear of losing your job for underperformance under the next one, just based on what attitude they take. It's been a rollercoaster couple of years, I can tell you.
  • New D.
    I have read some of the comments here and just recently got a job at PC World but haven't started as I'm waiting for confirmation on the actual training day... Now I'm dreading it judging by some of the comments!
  • John
    Dont worry "New to DSGI" - I have been a happy employee since 1986 when I started with Dixons. Since then I have worked in PC World, Currys and the Link and have enjoyed every minute of it. The interaction with customers is uplifting and most of my friends I started my career with still work within the company. We are a family and have regular customers we know by name and who often pop in to have a chat and try the latest technology. In our store we have eight new starters in place already for the christmas period and every one is "buddied up" with an existing colleague to get them up to speed. I can guarantee that you will go home tired on a night but also that you will get a buzz from the job! Be prepared to spend all your wages on Tablets - Ultrabooks - Apple - Kindle - 3DTVs etc.............
  • Smokee T.
    I have bought products from Curries and Dixons before, I even did a summer job at DSGi, when the sales team are on the phone they will also SCALE UP or SCALE DOWN their accents and idiosyncrasies in order to be more like the person with whom they are speaking. If they are speaking to a northerner, they will come across more northern using terms like 'duck' and 'have me tea (dinner)' - this is called SCALING DOWN. If they are talking to an upscale London chat, they will put on some Received Pronunciation and appear more posh. It happens in every public-facing job. Just be aware of it and you'll be fine.
  • haha
    why don't you all suck my cock and get on with your lifes, you sad fucking people, oh and also get a fucking job and do whatever to keep it, you fucking aresholes.
  • cal
    ok reading all the above and looking and the present market you would have to say that clearly their strategy and plans have worked as they are doing relatively when in the UK whilst Comet and Jessops have both collapsed. So criticise all you like but in the end DSGi has won. I used to work for them for 2 years and I have to admit having left them I have used fives its layout to selling in my new role which has made me one of the highest achievers in the group I work for. As much as people may disagree with the principles and ethics of the organisation they have massively helped me as an individual and for that I will always respect DSGi and I hope the company can continue to grow!
  • GoochiePoochie
    I'm going to add to the fray here and say that I am currently working in a PC World outlet in a major out of town shopping park for a specific brand (not hardware or Apple!) as an In Store Ambassador for that brand and in order to "blend in" I have been using the fives technique, plus other external professional sales training I have received to help close sales for PC World staff and this has included upselling software such as Windows or Norton on the package deals if the customer wants and needs it and it is within their budget. I then have to pass this to a PC World member of staff to process the order and take payment. However, they then either try to upsell to Apple Mac or add that much on the customer gets p****ed off and walks out having not bought anything! One came back and said to me, "He's talked me out of buying anything. If I wanted an Apple product I would have gone to the SIS and asked them for one, if I wanted a laptop I would have looked at one. I wanted a desktop and you showed me what I wanted for the price I wanted to pay. Now I'm so fed up and annoyed as I wanted to pay and take my new purchase home that we (him, wife and child) just want to go home". They left with nothing. I asked if there was a particularly price point where they would convert to say Apple to one of the management team and they said no, providing it was mentioned and offered, that was sufficient. If the customer expressed an interest, they should be shown, if they still want a desktop or whatever, then if the full range has been offered, that is fine". His words not mine. So why did the sales person then undermine my efforts to help sales and my skills and knowledge and do that??? Totally unprofessional to a colleague and the customer left with nothing but a sour taste. The most effective sales tool, is the silence or pause. That's when you shut your mouth, let the customer digest the information, use your ears for objections and then close. Learn. This was not an isolated incident this week as their are other ambassadors in store who have had the same experience with PC World staff. I wait keenly for the day when we can process an order ourselves without their involvement.
  • Dsg d.
    I'm a delivery driver for dag. More and more customers we deliver to are being sold things they do not need or services they don't want, worse still services they did not know they'd purchased, like installations, door reversals hdmi leads etc etc. we are hounded by our transport bosses to do everything to keep the customer happy, even give free installs and delivery at specific exact times etc.......the system is gonna break
  • Scooper b.
    I currently work for Dixons retail, and the fives technique is long gone. At the end of the day, every retail company in the world will try and get money from you for services that you may or may not need (think you need anyway) but what happens in 13 months when your new washer that you didn't get cover for breaks? Are you just going to blame dixons retail for your own stupidity? Most likely. We offer services such as whatever happens for a reason, so that the customer is COVERED by us. We offer exceptionally good prices for the goods we sell and you're all fools to think that we are a rubbish company that trying to just extort money out of you!

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