It's FIVES way or the high way at PC World and Currys
Wow. DSGi are really, really keen on their FIVES training. If you're one of the three Bitterwallet readers that doen't work for PC World or Currys, 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 ago.
Obviously every retail business needs to ensure their staff can sell, and sales training isn't unusual - we're not suggesting it is. The comments on our previous article were many and varied; some readers thought FIVES was a reasonable and valid training programme, others thought it went too far:
"It is one thing to provide customer service training but mimicing body language and attitude is manipulative and to me objectionable."
What also came through from the comments was that current staff (plenty of comments were from readers claiming to work for DSGi) viewed FIVES as a structured guide rather than a strict policy that must be followed to the letter:
"Do you really use it word for word? We certainly don't - there has to be some individuality or else you take away the service element.... if you’re hitting all the targets and not using FIVES, you’ll probably be fine."
"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."
It seems DSGi disagree. Not following FIVES to the letter is to be treated as gross misconduct, according to an email sent to store managers and passed onto Bitterwallet. Any member of staffed who is reported as not sticking to the gameplan by a mystery shopper isn't going to have a happy time of it:
"If they have been in the business for over 6 months and are fives trained then it should be a straight-to-invite disciplinary. This invite can be for bringing the company into disrepute, or failure to follow a reasonable request, or negligence depending upon how poor the shop score was and their attitude when the investigation takes place.
"So for example; bringing the company into disrepute is gross misconduct and its likely outcome would be final written. This would only happen if the score was very poor i.e. 30 or less, and upon investigation the individual said that they "didn't use or believe in fives as their own method works better for them". We have heard this from colleagues before.
"If the score was 40+ and the individual just didn't introduce certain parts of the process, but understood that they should have done at the investigation, then this would be a failure to follow a reasonable request or negligence which would be a written warning and verbal depending on their length of service and seniority in the business."
There's no room for manoeuvre whatsoever - not if a member of staff wants to keep their job, and regardless of whether they can actually sell. If you're a customer, do you rate service at PC World or Currys higher than other retailers? If you're a member of staff, then welcome back and let us know what you think. Is FIVES too inflexible and does is it really about customer service? Can you sell without resorting to mimicking customers and sliding into NLP?