Advantages Huge amount of choice, competitive prices, friendly staff
Disadvantages Lack of communication with head office, still sales culture.
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I have been looking at a number of reviews on PC world on this website and other websites and am inclined to agree with many of the points raised. I am an employee at a PC World store in the Midlands and hope that I can give an unbiased review on some of the good and bad points about PC world and How to respond to any problems you may encounter while you are shopping there.
The shop floor is split into easily to navigate isles with defined sections for different areas of computing. These sections make it easy for both staff and customers to locate the products of their choice and compare a range of products quickly and simply. The tills are located at the front of the store, with the business centre on the back wall. Managers do have some power to change the layout of the store however, and this can prove to be very profitable; in my store, moving the wireless networking area to the back corner of the store increased sales by 600% in 3 months (although this was including new year and Easter sales)
There are a number of job roles in a PC world store, which I will list below:
Customer Advisor- This job title includes all the sales staff, service staff, till staff and warehouse staff. There is always a great knowledge difference between such staff due to the differences in experience at the job and interest in computers.Business Advisor- Same as customer advisor but sells to business customers. They can organise large orders such as to the NHS or Government.
Sales Coach- A Sales coach is a member of the team who has a large amount of experience, usually having been working at PC world for more than 3 years. They are responsible for the training and nurturing of new members of the team, but providing sales tips and answering questions. They are always great guys and really know their stuff, to put it bluntly. The two at my store are both great guys and have an extreme interest in all aspects of computing. The only argument I have ever had with these guys is the ongoing debate over which is better "Apple or PC" I say Apple!Technician-If you are looking for the best advice about a problem, then the best option is to ask to the technician, who will be sitting in the PC Clinic. These are the people that have the most expertises and have usually encountered your problem a number of times in the past. They can recommend solutions to problems and answer most of the questions posed to them by customers and staff alike. These are the guys that will look at broken items of hardware before deciding what to do with them.
Assistant Manager- You can become a manager at PC world after a relatively short time, but you need to build up experience of the many systems used in the store, from returns to cash management. The manager-training course takes 3-6 months and can be done at any store with a vacancy.Sales Floor Manager- This person is usually found around the hardware matt in the store. They are the people who organise the customer advisors, by directing them to customers and delegating tasks such as stock organisation or retrieving items from other stores (I hate doing this!). This manager is invaluable at peak times as they ensure that customers are served in order of arrival and make the sales process as efficient as possible. Sometimes that can come across as a little arrogant as they have the habit or brushing off customers, this is only because they often have a lot on their mind to remember and have often been working without a break all day! They are however well paid, starting at around £23,0000, which is the best rate of pay for a manager in retail that I know of.
Service Manager- One of the most important people in the store, this manager has an in depth knowledge about computing and the systems of the store, they wil aim to solve your problem as quick as possible without losing the customer or store money.Business Manager- This person the responsibility of managing the business advisors and is often directly involved with large business clients, ensuring they are receiving the best service available.
Store Manager/Area manager- this person is usually feared by all staff! It is the nature of all retail to maximise sales and customer satisfaction. In my store he often appears without notice and stays all day, taking over responsibility for the sales floor. I have heard that he often calls up the managers while he is in other stores or on holiday at stupid time in the morning as he chases up absences.
I have had experience of this myself as before I worked at PC world I was sold a laptop with cover and a wireless adaptor. One day I removed the adaptor, only to realise that my broadband was still working! I was sold a product, which I didn't need, in order for the sales man at the time to gain more commission.
Now however, due to more of the staff being young and students, they have greater knowledge about computers, so there is a reduced number of miss sold goods. I am not saying that we have perfect knowledge as I have made mistakes in the past, but any miss sold goods are accidental and unintentional.
If you are employed to be a customer advisor you will usually be placed in an area that best suits you, these will wither be tills, sales or service desk. The managers tend to place any one with computer knowledge and who is confident, in sales, as this is where the company makes the most money. "Sales" is very intense, with the focus being placed on attachments and the cover plan. You are not however required to sell anything that the customer doesn't need, but you need to raise everything you think they require in order to give them the best knowledge so they can make an informed decision. For a customer who is buying a pc or laptop I will raise things like antivirus software, surge protectors and office software with them. Otherwise I leave the customers to raise any other items themselves, and then I will advise them from there. I can honestly say I have never immorally sold customers products, and the day I am forced to by anyone is the day I will quit my job. From my knowledge about my store this is the same with all the other staff and was only an issue with the old "commission based pay scheme"The pay is very competitive and every customer advisor starts on the same rate no matter how old they are. You are encouraged to learn all other areas of the store and are rewarded by pay increases. You can be on 6.23 within 2 years (part time customer advisor) The advantage to this is that the more of the store you know how to operate (ie service desk, stock management, business etc) the better you can serve customers, which is why you are paid more. ISSUES
After 28 days the store doesn't have to swap anything straight over such as faulty computers. Any problems that are manufacturers faults as opposed to user faults are covered under a 12-month manufacturers guarantee if displayed so. This means that it is the manufacturers the customer should have to deal with. PC world staff will advise this, as it is often quicker if the customers deal with the manufacturers themselves, as many firms operate a next day collection service. Stores can however contact the manufacturers for you, but this results in a lot more paperwork and there can be issues with communication as sometimes staff are ill or not working when manufacturers call, so it is often better for the customer to call them themselves.From working at pc world I can honestly say that they try to deal with customers issues as best as they can. But sometimes you have to understand that things happen as a result of a mistake or due to factors that are outside direct control of the store. If you have an issue, speak to the manager calmly and politely and they will do everything in their power to help you out!
Every one who I speak to has heard bad things about the cover plan. First of all it is not a cover plan, it is a service agreement with another company (hence why there are some problems)
I recommend it every time as I believe it is the best aftercare service available on a pc from any similar retail outlets.
For as little as 3.99 a month a pc base unit can be covered against any kind of accidental damage, included is a 2ppm help line. The accidental damage cover is worldwide, making it a great idea if you are taking your laptop abroad. Many salesmen try to push this because it is an old indicator of how good they are at sales. However most new staff will mention it and explain its highlights. If you decide you don't want it then you can always say no. It is fully cancellable and can be taken out up to a year after a product is bought, making it extremely flexible as well!
The only bad points I can see about the policy is the fact that it doesn't cover peripherals like cables, and doesn't include damage due to the elements. Also there is a reluctance in my experience to replace damaged products, which is only to be expects as otherwise it would encourage false claims.
Thank you for your time
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