Eastern Kentucky PRIDE

Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment

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Hospitality training program aims to improve customer service

Excellent customer service goes a long way to earn repeat business and positive reviews, and that is the goal of a new hospitality training program offered by Eastern Kentucky PRIDE in partnership with Eastern Kentucky University Work Force Development.

The two-hour training session features the BLISS (Business Leadership Innovation Service and Style) curriculum. It is designed to show front-line employees the importance of hospitality when dealing with guests – especially tourists – in order to make a good impression that will lead to return visits and endorsements through word of mouth and social media.

The topics covered in the training include: body language; attire; telephone, email and social media etiquette; dealing with disruptive customers; and interacting with coworkers.

“This training is universal and can benefit a wide variety of businesses, such as hotels, restaurants, retail, hospitals and much more,” said the instructor, Michelle Allen, who is an EKU Regional Outreach Agent. Allen is an EKU graduate and Nationally Certified Trainer. She has trained over 15,000 front-line employees in some capacity across Kentucky.

“The buzz in business these days is that customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020, so it is wise for businesses to invest in hospitality training for their employees, and employees need to invest in their futures,” Allen explained. “You never know who your customer might be.”

PRIDE launched the BLISS training program as part of its mission to enhance the quality of life in southern and eastern Kentucky by improving the environment and developing the tourism industry. For a small fee, PRIDE will deliver the training session at times and locations convenient to the businesses and organizations that request it.

“Many businesses and tourism officials have told us that they want to enhance customer service, so we are glad we can work with EKU to offer this top-notch training program to meet their needs,” said Tammie Wilson, PRIDE President and CEO. “This program is a good fit for Trail Towns, especially, so they can fulfill their commitment to providing local hospitality training.”

“Prestonsburg Tourism recently hosted our very first training session, and the attendees were extremely complimentary of the program,” Wilson said. “Everyone surveyed said that the training was a valuable use of their time. In particular, they praised Michelle as an instructor.”

“PRIDE’s BLISS training was a huge success and focused on the fundamental elements of customer service that should be applied to everyday interactions with guests no matter what front line business you work in,” concluded Mitchell Pearson, Executive Director of Prestonsburg Tourism. “Working in the tourism industry for 10 years, this training was a breath of fresh air and was enjoyable to participate in.”

“Sending your employees to this training seminar is a great return on investment,” Pearson added. “Managers and employers would also benefit from this training and taking what they’ve learned back to their workplace and let it trickle down to their staff improving moral and retention.”

To learn more about the BLISS hospitality training program, please visit http://kypride.org/programs/hospitality-training.

To schedule a training session in your community, please call the PRIDE office, toll free, at 888-577-4339.

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