Complaints handling is now a\ud marketing tool for retailers.\ud Intense competition within\ud the food retail sector makes it\ud an area for retailers to gain\ud competitive advantage. However,\ud the commitment to\ud complaints handling through\ud employee training is a largely\ud unexplored area. Describes\ud how an in-depth questionnaire\ud was used to survey UK\ud multiple food retailers regarding\ud the existence of complaints\ud procedures; aspects\ud of training such as prevalence,\ud frequency, hours and\ud methods; and the authority to\ud resolve complaints in relation\ud to employee status. Customer\ud and staff communication, as\ud part of the complaints handling\ud process, was also investigated.\ud Seven retailers took\ud part in the survey and\ud included a cross-section of\ud retailers (including one of the\ud major multiples), based on\ud number of branches. Reports\ud the results, which showed\ud that all the food retailers had\ud some form of training. However,\ud this varied with\ud employee status. Generally,\ud training was not given frequently\ud in a formal manner,\ud but on an ad hoc basis.\ud Authority to resolve complaints\ud appears to lie still with\ud senior staff, although customer\ud and staff communication\ud facilities appear to exist.\ud Argues that complaints handling\ud can be effective only\ud with appropriate staff training\ud at all levels
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