Backwoods Mail Order Company case
Group 1, Section A
Backwoods is a mail order company that is into camping supplies and outdoor clothing. Gerald Banks, the operations manager of the customer service division, is interested in training his 40 employees in the customer orders group to be more effective in handling customer complaints and problems. The organizational structure is as follows:
The customer orders division has 40 employees and four supervisors whereas the shipping division has 32 employees and 3 supervisors. The employees are evenly divided into two shifts – A day shift and a night shift.
The customer orders division is responsible for recording customer orders and check availability of each item ordered. The orders are then transferred to the shipping division which is in charge of ensuring the product is shipped to the customers.
The constraint to be kept in mind before designing the training program is that service should not stop to their customers. The problems as identifies by a needs assessment specify that majority of the errors resulting in merchandise return is because of incorrect entry of size in the computer.
Based on this the goals of the training program include reducing merchandize returns and creating a positive image of backwoods in the minds of its customers and employees.
1. Write several clear, measurable objectives for the training to be delivered to the employees in the customer order group.
The needs assessment output indicates problems to be addressed according to the organizational and task analysis. Before setting measurable outputs, the company first needs to perform person analysis as well to identify whether there are some employees who are excellent with certain attributes but lack at certain different aspect. Since the customer order group is the main point of contact for the customers, it is imperative that the quality of customer interaction should improve. Apart from telephone etiquette training, the customer order group should also have deep knowledge about the product portfolio. Keeping this in mind, we suggest the following objectives for the training.
a. Development of in depth knowledge about the product portfolio: This objective should make sure that every customer service representative is abreast on the products and the different SKU’s of that product. This will need interaction with the products team, and periodical evaluation will be required for the same.
b. Ensuring better data entry by rechecking customer knowledge of sizes: Because 78% of the merchandise returns are due to problems with size, features, and/or color selections, representatives must be trained in data entry, as well as order verification. Most of the problems can be eliminated by order verification and probably a sample, or description of the product. Also a habit of being inquisitive needs to be inculcated amongst the employees so that they ensure that the customer is aware about the different sizes in the different products.
c. Being polite and prompt in handling customer complaints: A polite and prompt response from the employee will help in improving customer experience and would thus aid in creating a better image of the company. Also this will reduce the clutter that is caused in the workplace which will further increase productivity and improve order time.
d. Improving the company image and boosting employee morale The company branding has to be improved among the customers so that there can be many more repeat orders. To this extent, representatives have to be trained on the discount/promotional offers, product superiority etc. Career opportunities have to be explained and performance reviews should be setup so that employees are content as well.
2. Develop a recommendation for the training plan that includes the training...
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