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SCCC to provide customer service seminar PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 20 September 2017 11:49

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ELLY GRIMM
• Leader & Times



Businesses are constantly working to improve their bottom line through improving their customer service and thanks to the Business and Industry Department at Seward County Community College, many local business owners will have the opportunity to gain such helpful knowledge. 

“The reason the Chamber of Commerce and I have partnered to put this together is we talked to local business owners and local shoppers and were talking about customer service and how can better service be provided,” Business and Industry Director Norma Jean Dodge said. “The people will get this as a philosophy and it can be appropriate for everyone from the business’s janitor to the administrative assistant to the owner – everyone plays a role. So people will be looking at this as ‘What can I do in my organization to improve my customer service skills?’ All of us can look for ways to better ourselves with that and everyone can get some new ideas with how to improve.”

The seminar will have a couple times to choose from to attend. The options are from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Sept. 26 or from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17, with the cost being $49 per person. The speaker will be local insurance agent Al Shank Jr.

“Shank began his insurance career in 1974 with the agency. He is president of the firm and holds the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter and Accredited Adviser in Insurance designations,” a release from SCCC noted. “Al is a past president of the Kansas Association of Insurance Agents and has served as National Director on the Board of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America. He is a graduate of Leadership Kansas and Leadership Liberal. He has chaired the boards of Leadership Liberal, the Southwest Medical Center, International Pancake Day, Liberal Parks and Recreation Board, the Administrative Board of the First United Methodist Church, the Seward County Republican Central Committee, and currently serves as Treasurer of the Seward County Community College Foundation. He is a past president of the Liberal Rotary Club and served on the Kansas Highway Advisory Commission. Al is a graduate of the University of Kansas and has received the Clodfelter Award from the KU Alumni Association for service to local alumni and currently serves on the national board of the organization. As a member of the University’s 1975 Sun Bowl team, he is part of the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame.”

Overall, Dodge said, it is important for the college to offer these types of classes. 

“They’re important to offer because it’s a great refresher to those who come,” Dodge said. “I always think ‘I provide awesome customer service,’ but I’m sure there will be something new for me to pick up. It’s also great to hear from different people and get their perspectives on what good customer service is. As far as why the college should offer these, it’s our job to educate. Whether it’s for community enrichment or professional development, it’s important to get our students ready to go to 4-year schools or into the work force.”

Dodge also offered encouragement for people in the community to sign up for one of the seminar sessions. To sign up, people can call the office at 417-1170, they can e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to let staff know of their interest in the event and get registered by Business & Industry staff. The SCCC web site also has a lot of information interested attendees can look up.

“The sad thing is we hear ‘You offer a lot of great classes!’ but we don’t get the enrollment,” Dodge said. “That’s why this time, we offered it at two different times, we have a morning time frame and an evening time frame based on scheduling and what would work better. I hope when people take this class, they take away some things they can quickly apply to their own position at work or maybe share some of this information with their employees. I’m hoping by doing this, we all see ways in which we can improve our customer service skills.”

Overall, Dodge said she is excited for the seminar. 

“I always get excited about what we offer because when you’re meeting the community’s needs and what they want to see done, and also working with someone like Al Shank, it’s exciting for that to be shared,” Dodge said. “We have people in the community who can provide that training and I’m excited Al is able to do that and talk about his philosophy about customer service. I hope people will be able to realize not only ‘Hey, that worked really well for me in the past,’ about something but also go ‘Maybe that didn’t work so well’ for something else, and that will lead to being open to different ideas.”

Dodge added she is looking forward to the information that will be presented and emphasized the advantage of such training being available in Liberal. 

“The main thing is this is just one of the small things we can do for the community and if there’s any other types of classes they would like to see us bring in, get ahold of us so we can look into it and possibly bring it to the college,” Dodge said. “A great thing is this is here in Liberal and you don’t have to travel potentially multiple hours to a different city to receive the exact same training.”

 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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