Skills to pay the bills

Chamber, sponsors offer customer service seminar

— Registration for an upcoming customer service seminar - a workshop offered by the Craig Chamber of Commerce and a host of other sponsors - has been good thus far, but is short of participants from an important segment of the local business community.

That is, retailers and restaurant proprietors - businesses that need sound customer service skills, Chamber director Christina Currie said.

"It's limited from the restaurant and retail sector," Currie said, "or the places where customer service is really critical and we hear the most complaints."

Several businesses that already have quality customer service as a priority are scheduled to attend the seminar, set for Thursday at the Holiday Inn of Craig, but the Chamber is seeking increased participation from the other two key areas leading up to the event.

In response to community demand, and falling in line with goals of providing business training and information, the Chamber is offering the customer service event, a first this year for the organization.

Other businesses and groups have chipped in to sponsor the event as well - Wal-Mart, Colorado Northwestern Community College, the Bank of Colorado and the Craig/Moffat County Economic Development Partnership among them.

A representative from SkillPath, a company founded in 1989 that provides business training in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, will make a presentation at Thursday's seminar. It will include tips on motivating employees, how to handle disgruntled customers, and how to use customer service as a "valuable tool in competing against big box stores," Currie said.

"It's really geared toward whoever deals with customers, whether that's a business owner, manager or even an employee," Currie said. ":This is a fantastic opportunity."

The timing of the seminar is particularly beneficial, the Chamber director said, given that local businesses are entering a busy time of year with out-of-town tourists and hunters visiting during the next 2 1/2 months.

Fees for the seminar are also reasonable, Currie said.

"The Chamber really committed to making this as affordable as possible," she said, adding that similar presentations sometimes cost anywhere from $150 to $200 per person.

The seminar is limited to 130 participants. The cost is $20 for Chamber members and $55 for nonmembers; the price includes lunch and a workbook.

For more information, call the Chamber at 824-5689, or e-mail at director@craig-chamber.com.

Joshua Roberts can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or jroberts@craigdailypress.com.

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