Presentation on theme: "Introducing the Qualla-T Customer Service Training Program."— Presentation transcript:
Introducing the Qualla-T Customer Service Training Program
How it all started? Thanks to the foresight & generosity of the Cherokee Preservation Foundation, the following entities collaborated on this project: Three community colleges A land grant university A rural development center A regional tourism organization An economic development commission Community leaders The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
To the Seven Western Counties To Tourism Businesses Health Care Businesses Non Profit Organizations Community Agencies
A customer service training program created by the Western Carolina Partnership of the Rural Community College Initiative. What is it?
What is RCCI? A nationwide program initially funded by the Ford Foundation to strengthen rural communities by assisting their community colleges in assuming a more active leadership role in three areas: Civic Engagement Economic Development Educational Access Who is this man at the RCCI Institute in Kansas City?
What is the Partnership? A regional cooperative formed in 2003 with representatives from Haywood, Southwestern and Tri-County Community Colleges. As part of the RCCI plan, the North Carolina Cooperative Extension office serves as “coaches” for the WCP team.
Vision … Using data compiled by Advantage West, the Partnership created the following vision statement in August 2003: “The Western North Carolina tourism industry is renowned for hospitality and customer service and is a model of effectiveness and competitiveness”
… to Action Having established a goal to enhance the tourism & hospitality industry in the region as it relates to economic development, the Partnership began a project to improve frontline customer service on the Qualla Boundary and in North Carolina’s seven western counties.
Qualla-T Program Our program was researched and developed by Michael Caudill of InterCultural Advantage. During the planning stage it was known as “Front Line/ Bottom Line.” Our Coordinator is Brian Owle, an enrolled member of the EBCI. Brian has been a small business owner, and has worked with major employers in the tourism and hospitality industry.
Qualla-T: FAQ Why the Front Line? Experts recognize the key information source for visitors are the employees on the front lines (gas stations, convenience stores, motels, restaurants, attractions, etc.) Plus, the level of customer service provided by front line employees affects the profitability (the "bottom line") of a business.
Qualla-T: FAQ Why begin with travel /tourism? Because travel and tourism has been identified as a key component for economic development in the region. What other types of businesses? Shops, hotels and motels, gas stations, convenience stores (in general, any business serving visitors)
Qualla-T: FAQ What benefits do you expect from improved customer service? >Visitors will expand their stay >Visitors will return again, bringing others >More visitor time spent in the region means more revenue will be generated for business owners >More likely that employees will be rewarded
Qualla-T Offers … A Two-Hour Employer Workshop To introduce the concepts to business owner/manager To help assess customer service priorities To understand the distinction between “Business Focus” and “Customer Focus.” A Five-Hour Employee “Certification” Workshop …
Employee Training Includes > How to Increase Professionalism > How to Communicate Effectively > How to Handle Complaints > How to Manage Stress Plus a “Secret Shopper” Experience
Qualla-T Training Includes A Vision of Sharing & Serving Qualla values, attitudes & behaviors provide the “roots” of excellent customer service: Dedication & Loyalty Group Harmony Humility Perseverance & Courage Reciprocity & Balance Respect & Trust Taken from “Vision Qualla” A 2004 CPF Project
First Qualla-T Grads Feb Cherokee Community Health Cherokee Home Health Cherokee One Feather EBCI Travel & Tourism Museum of the Cherokee Qualla Arts Cooperative
Lessons Learned from the Qualla Boundary Experience Participants Enjoy the Fast Paced Course Participants Enjoy the Fast Paced Course Good Discussion / Experience Modules Good Discussion / Experience Modules “Pickle” Video is Well Received “Pickle” Video is Well Received Secret Shopper Exercise Moved to a Pre- Course Assignment Secret Shopper Exercise Moved to a Pre- Course Assignment Additional Segments Are Being Suggested; i.e., Personal Grooming Additional Segments Are Being Suggested; i.e., Personal Grooming
Qualla-T Summary >Customer service training for “front-line” workers. >Targets travel and tourism industry, but can be utilized with many other types of businesses. >Offers a Two-Hour Employer Workshop to introduce the concepts to business owner/manager. > Offers a Five-Hour Employee Certification Workshop.
To Achieve the Regional Vision Western North Carolina Businesses are Renowned for Hospitality and Customer Service
Vision For Outreach Success Program Marketing Program Marketing WCP/NCCE Partnership WCP/NCCE Partnership
Program Marketing Smoky Mountain Hosts, a Regional Tourism Organization Smoky Mountain Hosts, a Regional Tourism Organization Chambers of Commerce in each County Chambers of Commerce in each County County Tourism Development Authorities County Tourism Development Authorities County Economic Development Offices County Economic Development Offices
Courses Offered Through a Partnership with Small Business Centers of the Three Community Colleges Small Business Centers of the Three Community Colleges N.C. Cooperative Extension Field Faculty in the Seven Western Counties N.C. Cooperative Extension Field Faculty in the Seven Western Counties
Qualla-T Partners This project is made possible by financial support from the Cherokee Preservation Foundation, the RCCI, and vital assistance from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and North Carolina Cooperative Extension