Frontline training helps educate local businesses

Victoria Haley goes over various ways for businesses to drive customer service and tourism.

In order to improve customer service and help drive tourism, the Western Heritage Committee in partnership with Travel Southern Oregon hosted a special training on Thursday, May 16 at the Lake County Chamber of Commerce. 

Leading the class was Vividly Consulting’s Dir. of Operations Victoria Haley, who is a certified Guest Service Gold member herself. 

Businesses from all across the map who are considered “front line tourism” attended, such as managers from the Southside gas station, Chevron and Shell, managers from various hotels like Juniper’s RV and restaurant owners and managers.

The training covered all aspects of customer service, from greeting someone when they first walk in, to making them feel welcome and engaging and taking an interest in them as a way to drive tourism and customer service. 

“Each of the attendees took a test and will receive a certificate to hang in their business that shows that they’re a certified Guest Service Gold member,” Lake County Chamber of Commerce Dir. Jessica Bogardus said. “Victoria went to a course and took a class in order to become certified to come here and teach a class.” 

The Western Heritage Committee came up with the idea and Travel Southern Oregon paid for people to take it. Everyone in attendance paid $5 to help go towards lunch, which was catered by Happy Horse Deli.

 This class is the first of hopefully many classes that will be offered, but for this class, the Chamber wanted to focus on business managers and owners of tourism based businesses such as restaurants, gas stations and lodging.

“Usually the managers and business owners are the first line of customer service here,” Bogardus said. “We want to make sure that they are given the proper tools in order to help them succeed and make them drive tourism.” 

With the new brochures coming out such as the Trails Committee brochure, the Chamber of Commerce brochures that feature various members, these are all tools that business owners can use to engage with the customers that come into their businesses to ask a question or to shop. 

Businesses shared stories of great customer service and also mingled with various business owners in attendance to get ideas of how they engage with various guests as no one business in Lakeview is more important than the other. Each business is here to support each other and help the local economy thrive according to Bogardus.

For more information, contact the Lake County Chamber of Commerce at 541-947-6040.

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