Mary Ligon, director of Leadership Albany, says the organization and its partners are hoping to make Albany businesses and their employees more focused on customer service with an April training class. (Albany Herald file photo)
ALBANY — Leadership Albany is teaming with area businesses and other organizations to make Albany more CustomerCentric through upcoming customer service training.
The training event, called CustomerCentric, is scheduled to take place April 22 at Merry Acres Event Center and will teach attendees about service culture, effective communication, customer and co-worker expectations, empowerment, ownership and accountability and how to stimulate employee morale.
The training seminar will be facilitated by certified customer service specialist Rita Suiter of Five Star Customer Service Strategies, who has received numerous awards and accolades for her leadership in customer service.
According to Mary Ligon, director of Leadership Albany, the idea to offer customer service training came from Leadership Albany class participants who over the years have continued to raise concerns over service quality in Albany.
“It has come up in a number of different classes and alumni have made references over time to customer service and the issues around this,” Ligon said. “(Doing this) fits in with the mission of Leadership Albany. Leadership Albany develops leaders who work to make positive changes for the common good in our community. We saw a need that was not being addressed and are working to improve our community by creating a CustomerCentric culture in Albany. This will benefit individual businesses and our whole community.”
In fact, it’s the benefit to the entire community that has generated support for the training from area leaders who see the potential a positive customer experience can do to generate more business for everyone.
“Albany is a special place, and all of our citizens and visitors should feel that way,” said Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard. “Part of growing our businesses and getting new ones is providing people with an unforgettable, positive experience.”
Other businesses and organizations that feel strongly about the training and have offered their support include the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission, the Albany Convention & Visitors Bureau, Albany Honda, Flint Community Bank and Merry Acres Inn & Event Center.
Event organizers are hopeful that April’s class will be well received as there are currently plans to offer continuing training that will build upon what is learned in the preliminary class, said Ligon.
“This is a brand new things and we plan to offer this with some regular frequency,” said Ligon. “Our dream is that we see lots of people in Albany go through this training because we all need to provide great customer service.”
Those wanting to attend the April 22 training can chose between two time slots, either 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. The cost for the class is $49 per person and attendees must register by April 18. There also is a $5 discount for anyone who registers early by April 1. There is an additional $5 discount for Leadership Albany alumni.
Anyone wanting to register or to learn more can call (229) 435-4466 or visit leadershipalbany.org.