There are a few clear and measurable objectives for training to be delivered to the employees in the customer order group at Backwoods Mail Order Company. The first objective that should be considered is making an improvement in data entry processes. Merchandise has a high return percentage because of data entry errors. If more training is provided with data entry, this can ensure a lower return percentage. The second objective that should be addressed is knowledge of the products offered. Customer order representatives should be knowledgeable of all features of a product. Returns on merchandise could be lowered if the customer order representatives new specific features and sizing of products for correct entry and order placement. Customer order representatives should also have training in the proper handling of customer calls. These representatives have not been formally trained with customer complaints. They should be heavily trained in handling complaints effectively and efficiently. There should also be a formal process of answering customer questions and placing orders. The customer order representatives should also be trained in communications with the other departments such as packing and shipping. This would lower the possibility of the wrong packing and shipment of merchandise. These employees should also be heavily trained in handling calls in a less than favorable work environment. Employees should be trained handling calls in noisy and quiet environments with proper equipment.
In order to improve on data entry skills, the employees should be trained in a classroom setting. The classroom setting should teach recommended date entry processes. Employees should spend as much time as it takes in the classroom entering date until they have reached a 90 to 97 % accuracy target. Training of employees to improve their product knowledge should be extensive. This training should be in the classroom and include hands on training of products and their features. The length of training should depend on the number of products and features on those products. After classroom and hands on training, employees should have to take an exam proving their knowledge on the products available. Training on handling customer calls should be done in a classroom setting, too. The training should begin with recordings of proper and improper handling of customer calls. These calls should also include customer complaint calls and how they were handled. Training should include practice phone calls completed by trainees. These practice calls should be recorded and graded. The training on customer call handling should be continuous with random mystery phone shops. If an employee fails a phone shop, they should be counseled for improvement. In order to improve communications between other departments, employees from other departments should attend a classroom training session for at least half a day. This training should address helpful ways to communicate between the departments. Training on handling calls in a less than favorable work environment should be conducted in a classroom as well. Practice calls should be done under different noise levels, and these calls should be completed with the use of different qualities of equipment. Training should be at least for half a day on these calls. These can be completed at the same time as handling customer calls and complaints.
All training programs will need to be evaluated for effectiveness. This specific training plan should be tracked on a monthly basis for improvements; it should be measured as a percent of change between each month. Data entry should be evaluated off of two things. One should be improvement on data order entry time and accuracy; the other should be on how much of a reduction there was on return of merchandise because of data entry errors. Product knowledge should be evaluated based on the reduction of the return on merchandise. It should