An army of helpful and knowledgeable staff won Tesco in Stockport this week's The Grocer 33 service award.

They helped him find what he was looking for and offered information on promotions on similar products. Another big plus was the fact there were no out-of-stocks.

The same could not be said of Asda in Gloucester, which had three, although again staff were helpful. The store was also offering samples of own-label Spanish olives and Arnott's Shapes.

Sainsbury's in Slough was a pleasant and bright shop. However there was a four-and-a-half-minute queue to pay and our shopper felt she had to rush her packing.

Waitrose in Bromley, Kent, had extremely helpful staff who checked the stock room for missing items and apologised when they were not available.

On the downside, there were four out-of-stocks and the checkout assistant was not particularly communicative, handing our shopper a green charity token without explanation.

Morrisons in Wood Green, London, had the worst customer service of the week. When one shopper stood in a broken jar of ­tomato sauce near the checkout and warned the assistant, she answered "yeah I know". When she asked for the cheese another told her he had never heard of it. Others just pointed ­towards where products were.

Winner: Tracy Radford, customer service manager, Tesco Stockport

What does your role as customer service manager entail?
It's basically trying to get things right from a customer's point of view. I look after the service areas and the shop floor and make sure we've got availability at teatime as well as in the morning. I walk around the store with the deputy manager to make sure we've always got the displays right.

How long have you been at the store? I came to this store 12 weeks ago after working as a checkout manager in the Blackpool store. I'm enjoying the new responsibility so far. Every day is different as you meet different people and find out what their needs are.

How do you try to interact with customers? Customers can look puzzled so it's about asking if they need anything before they have to ask for it. I also do assisted shops where I ask a regular shopper to come round the shop and tell me what they think of different displays and offers.

What's the most challenging part of your job? Making sure I've got enough people to deliver the service. If you've not got the right levels of staffing, how can you deliver? Every day brings different trade so we have staff that can support the service team by opening more tills or working together to refill an area. It's about working as a team.

What's been selling well recently? We've recently had in tins of chocolates for Christmas. They were on a bogof deal and have now been reduced to £5. Customers love bargains like that. The meal deal for £9 is selling quite well too.

We've also just re-done our deli range: we moved it around a bit and the deli manager started a grab-and-go counter for cheese and meat, which has generated more sales. She also added extra olives and started selling pâté, which is proving very popular.

How does the store support the local community? We give energy drinks to Stockport County FC twice a week. They went into receivership last year so we give them vitamin drinks to support them. We also have charities in-store such as the Dog Trust, which encourages people to adopt a dog or donate money for dog food. Other charities also come into the store and pack bags for a donation.

Read more
Grocer 33: Morrisons pips Asda to top spot (25 September 2010)