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Volunteer Trainers Sought for Heart of Spain

Released: 03/12/2003

<p> Twenty local residents interested in learning to teach customer service strategies in preparation for the Heart of Spain exhibit are being sought for a new customer service program to begin April 9. Volunteer trainers will receive customer service training and materials that can be used to set up internal customer service training programs for their own businesses and organizations. <p></p> The 20 volunteer trainers will participate in a two-day, train-the-trainer program and then instruct other area residents in at least five "Company&acute;s Coming" community sessions before Sept. 1, 2003. Two-person teams will instruct a minimum of 10 community sessions throughout the area. Dates and places will be announced soon. <p></p> "The program will benefit the community in preparing for the Heart of Spain, said Lafe Jones, director of LSU Alexandria Continuing Education. "However, the volunteers will also have training and modules that will support any customer service program." <p></p> The train-the-trainer program begins with an all-day class April 9 at the Rapides Parish Learning Center, England Air Park. The second day of training is April 30 and will focus on the "Heart of Spain" exhibit and community information. The Heart of Spain exhibit at the Alexandria Museum of Art is expected to bring up to 100,000 visitors to the area September through November of 2003. <p></p> "It is the intent of this program to help volunteer trainers learn how to educate their fellow citizens to become better &acute;hosts&acute; and &acute;sellers&acute; of their community and their businesses or organizations," Jones said. <p></p> Trainers will learn and incorporate excellent customer service into their daily interaction with customers and visitors; refine their skills in recognizing: "Everyone Has a Story," "Signature Service," body language, attitude, good vs. bad service, and making yourself understood; encourage a better understanding of how to "read" customers and guests and to help them feel satisfied and welcome; and gain a greater sense of pride in the community and in all that it has to offer its customers and guests. <p></p> For more information or to apply to the "Company&acute;s Coming" Customer Service program, call any of the program sponsors: LSU Alexandria Continuing Education, 473-6495, Alexandria/Pineville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, 442-9546, Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce, 442-6671, and City of Alexandria, 449-5225. </p>