Staples Touts J.D. Power Certification for Call Centers

First in the office products industry to be certified for customer service excellence

First in the office products industry to be certified for customer service excellence

Framingham, MA — May 26, 2004 — Office supplies giant Staples today announced that J.D. Power and Associates Certified Call Center Program has certified Staples Contract call centers for customer satisfaction excellence, making Staples the first player in the office products industry, and one of the first companies nationwide, to have its call centers certified by J.D. Power and Associates.

Staples call centers serving medium and large-sized company customers passed an audit of quality assurance capabilities, management roles and responsibilities and associate recruiting and training.

In addition, J.D. Power and Associates measured Staples' service excellence by surveying customers who recently contacted the call centers. J.D. Power found that Staples exceeded the threshold for certification in all seven survey categories.

For certification status, J.D. Power and Associates requires a call center to perform within the top 20 percent of customer service organizations based on cross-industry customer satisfaction research.

The evaluation criteria used during the survey includes: courtesy of the customer service representative (CSR); knowledge of the CSR; the CSR's concern for the customer questions and/or problem; usefulness of the information provided; convenience of customer service operating hours; ease of getting through to a CSR; and the timely resolution of the customer's problem, question or request.

The Call Center Certification Program was launched by J.D. Power and Associates this year to evaluate overall customer satisfaction and help call centers in various industries increase their efficiency and effectiveness by establishing best practices for handling service calls.

The Staples Contract call centers handle more than 12,000 customer contacts per day, supporting customers with placing orders, product selection, special orders and credits and returns. The call centers are located in Hackensack, N.J., Rochester, N.Y. and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

"As we continuously raise the bar on our service, the J.D. Power and Associates certification is a testament to our own high standards and is the benchmark for world-class performance," said Jay Baitler, executive vice president of Staples Contract for North American delivery.

Staples Contract is Staples' fastest growing business, with double-digit growth for the past four years. The business serves mid-sized companies through Staples Business Advantage and Fortune 1000 companies through Staples National Advantage.