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Peer Review

Virtual World Irate Customer Retail Sales Training Demo



Overall Numeric Rating:

4.75 stars
Content Quality: 4.75 stars
Effectiveness: 4.5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.75 stars
Reviewed: May 23, 2010 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: This is a virtual world video that illustrates how virtual worlds can be used in training, in this case a retail salesperson encounters an irate customer and does not handle it well. The video is a 2 minute, 36 second presentation of a retail sales experience, in which a salesperson encounters an irate customer while waiting on a second customer. The salesperson does not do an adequate job in dealing with the irate customer; consequently, the service experience of all customers is affected. The video is virtual world video (Second Life) created by Forterra Systems. The video could be used as an example in online or F2F classes.
Type of Material: Presentation
Recommended Uses: In training individuals in customer service, retail, marketing and sales courses. This presentation could be used in-class, providing the foundation for class discussion. It could also be used as a homework assignment in both individual and group settings.
Technical Requirements: Computer that can view and download videos
Identify Major Learning Goals: From the student’s perspective, the major purpose of the site is to witness a poor retail service encounter, as a means to understand what steps a retail salesperson could take to handle the situation adequately.
Target Student Population: Target population would be undergraduate and graduate students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Introductory Business course.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: The video provides a complete demonstration of the impact an irate customers can have on the experiences of other customers. The viewer can clearly see the mistakes made by the salesperson in terms of handling the irate customer. The presentation is timely and relevant. It is self-contained; it could be shown in class without any additional assignments. It would be useful for a retail course, a services marketing course, or even an introductory marketing course. It will be an excellent way to introduce students how to serve international customers and deal with individuals who are short in patience with international customers.
Concerns: It was sometimes difficult to hear what was being said, primarily because the ‘actors’ were talking over one another. Although this situation replicates real-life, this could affect students’ understanding

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: The video featured an individual from another country. Most videos that deal with the irate customer are always someone from the USA. It is good to have a video that features individuals from a different cultural so that students would know how to handle this type of situation better. Therefore, I feel that this video was very effective. It would be very easy to write assignments for this video clip. I can think of several ideas off the top of my head; for example, an individual or team reflection paper. Alternatively, students could devise alternative strategies for dealing with irate customers. Because the video is relatively short (two minutes, 36 seconds), much could be learned in a very short time span. The learning objective of the video is quite clear, i.e., understand how mistakes in customer service, particularly those related to irate customers, can affect other customers’ experiences.
Concerns: The presentation does not necessarily reinforce prior concepts, nor demonstrate the relationships between concepts. It is very narrow in focus.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: The video is very easy to use – students just need to click on the ‘play’ button and watch the video. Students will enjoy the ‘virtual’ nature of the video clip. It is visually appealing and of high design quality.
Concerns: Students with slow internet connections might have difficulty watching the video.

Other Issues and Comments: None