Get yourself mystery shopped to boost business?

The customer is always right attitude is being taken to extreme lengths in the UK at the moment, much of it government-backed. Programmes such as BBCs Watchdog have trained consumers to be cynical shoppers. As an antidote to Rip-off a quality-mark organisation wants organisations to register with it
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A new certification scheme has been launched in the UK to enable consumers to identify service providers which can deliver consistency, reliability and customer satisfaction, says a hopeful press release from SGS. Known as Qualicert, the programme will help to implement the Governments campaign to educate and empower consumers as outlined in its white paper Modern Markets: Confident Consumers published in July.

Organisations which are successfully assessed will be able to use the

Qualicert logo (which theyll no doubt have to pay for) to demonstrate their commitment to supplying a quality service. Use of the logo on literature and in the high street will give consumers the means to instantly recognise service providers which have been independently endorsed, says the press release.

Unlike other certification schemes, Qualicert implicitly focuses on the

consumer. It concentrates specifically upon the results of the service

provided. Organisations wishing to be certificated will be independently

assessed against criteria which relate directly to the expectations and

requirements of their customers.

Its claimed these criteria will be validated by a panel of experts and consumers drawn from the industry concerned to ensure they provide tangible benefits and added value.

UK scheme coordinator, John Parton, says the aim of the scheme to is promote a culture of service excellence:

By using periodic surveillance audits and unannounced on-site visits we aim to verify that certificated organisations continue to fulfil their promises to their customers.

Developed by international certification organisation SGS, the scheme was launched in 1995 on mainland Europe. Since then over 800 organisations have been successfully registered with Qualicert. The first UK assessment is due to take place in November.

Details from SGS on 01276 691133.

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