Monday, September 12, 2005

Have you ever called or entered a business and felt that you were an unimportant intrusion upon the staff's other duties? Have you been treated with less than courteous respect and a helpful attitude? Businesses today need to ensure that their employees understand and practice basic customer service skills.

Main Street Fairmont, in collaboration with First Exchange Bank and Fairmont State's Center for Workforce Education, is sponsoring an afternoon workshop for employees to hone their skills in this critical area. Businesses can help new or existing employees identify and focus in upon the right way to interact with a customer.

"Quality customer service starts with treating the customer as you would like to be treated," said Sally Tarley, the instructor for the course. "This program will also stress professionalism as well as proper telephone etiquette. We will also explore methods of handling a difficult or demanding customer, which is an important skill for even veteran employees to possess."

The two-hour workshop will be held on Thursday, Sept. 22, from 3 to 5 p.m., at the First Exchange Bank's downtown location on Fairmont Avenue. Light refreshments will be provided. The cost for this workshop is $5 per participant. To pre-register, call Vera Sansalone at Main Street Fairmont at (304) 366-0468.

"Many small businesses don't have the time or money to train employees in this vital area," said Paul Schreffler, Director of Economic Development & Workforce Education for Fairmont State Community & Technical College. "Collaborating with Main Street Fairmont and First Exchange Bank allows us to sponsor an affordable program at a convenient time for local businesses."