Backwoods Mail Order Company

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Backwoods is a company that specializes in outdoor supplies and apparel, and conducts its business through telephonic and mail order means. Backwoods employs forty people in the customer orders division who are primarily responsible for taking customer orders, answering questions and complaints, processing returns, and the like. The operating manager of Backwoods' customer service department is Gerald Banks. Banks is interested in conducting a training program for his department in an effort to improve service. He would like to see an increase in overall effectiveness of order-filling. Likewise, Banks wants representatives to become more helpful in answering questions and complaints, as well as to be more polite and professional (p. 578).

In developing a training program, it is necessary to determine what the main objectives of such a program would be. First, I would recommend that upon completion of a training program, representatives would be capable of keying orders at very high accuracy rate, perhaps as much as 98% or 99%. This is an important objective, because problems in size, features, and color selection account for 78 percent of merchandise returns. Of these errors, 54 percent were the result of data entry mistakes.

Secondly, upon completion of a training program, representatives should be able to display a positive attitude and utmost
professionalism when dealing with customers, unless customer exhibits inappropriate or abusive behavior. Improving the overall attitude of customer service representatives may have a direct effect upon the customer's view of Backwoods, and would aid in the completion of the third objective.

The third and final objective is to understand sizing and features of all Backwoods' products, as well as differences in sizing among products. Also, representatives should be able to relay these guidelines to a customer in an understandable fashion. This would prevent confusion and ordering mistakes on the...
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