News : Customer Service Training Program in Demand
Victoria, TX, USA, Feb, 2018 -- After about seven months and 10 classes on customer service, business officials are starting to notice customer service improve in Victoria.
"Businesses are finally starting to snap and say, 'Hey, this customer service is something,'" said Donald Jirkovsky, University of Houston-Victoria Small Business Development Center business adviser.
He leads the Victoria Chamber of Commerce Victoria Friendly Certified Customer Service Training Program.
"When profit margins were shrinking, people started to cut corners (including customer service)," he said. "Now they're starting to realize what gives them a competitive advantage is customer service."
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Jirkovsky has taught all 10 classes of the training, most of which have been full at 50 attendees or close to it, said Randy Vivian, chamber president. Before Vivian launched the program, he hoped it would be in high demand, but he is surprised the traffic has lasted this long.
Classes fill up within a week and a half of being announced.
"Our goal is to change culture and make Victoria a town that is known for good customer service - we're seeing some of that," he said. "The demand is there. That's exciting. It's very low-cost - and that's by design. We want to get as many businesses involved in it as we can. We're just excited there's still demand."
So far, 29 local businesses have sent about 450 employees through the program, Vivian said.
"As long as there's demand, we'll continue to do them monthly," he said. "To be able to get good-quality training for inexpensive - I think that is what the demand goes to. If you have good customer service, you have business coming to your business."
Jirkovsky said he enjoys hearing how different industries deal with customer service. In his most recent class Jan. 30, a Citizens Medical Center employee said unlike someone going to Chick-fil-A, the hospital's customers are usually in bad situations such as being sick or needing surgery.
"One of the things we're getting to see - although customer service is the same throughout - (is) each industry can be different," he said.
Customer service in health care is changing, Jirkovsky said, and now hospital employees also aim to give their patients, or customers, a retail experience. For example, they may advertise a wellness program or exercise classes.
People have approached Jirkovsky more often than before with positive customer service stories recently.
"(Customer service) is something that has to be continuously improved. That's what I love about teaching the class," he said. "People have floored me with so many questions and come out asking about the customer service or giving me an example of the particular customer service."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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