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Luncheon workshop to focus on offering better customer service

Every business offers a product or service to customers, but the way a business serves its customers is a key factor in success.

Joe Humphreys

That is the focus of the June 17 University of Houston-Victoria Small Business Development Center luncheon workshop Customer Service: On the Front Lines. The workshop will begin at noon in the Welder Conference Room located in Room 110A of UHV University North, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. There is a $10 registration fee, and lunch will be provided.

“Customer service is essential to businesses, especially in the digital age,” UHV SBDC Director Joe Humphreys said. “In today’s world, potential customers are able to look up reviews of businesses at the touch of a button, so it’s vitally important that businesses emphasize good customer service in all scenarios.”

The workshop will focus on how business owners and their employees should interact with customers from the moment they make contact to after the transaction is completed. Attendees also will discuss working with customers through different mediums, including by phone, in person or online.

As with most things in life, mistakes can be made. One topic that will be emphasized is how to deal with customer complaints. The emphasis should always be on finding a way to turn an issue into a positive or reconciling experience, Humphreys said.

Farhang Niroomand

“Whether it’s in person or on the phone, the first rule is to stay calm,” he said. “Let the customer explain the issue, restate it so they know you understand, acknowledge any mistakes and thank them for letting you know. Being calm and courteous goes a long way toward turning what was a problem into a positive experience.”

The workshop is designed to help attendees develop skills, rules and habits to help create a reputation for excellent customer service.

“Far too often, companies and individuals forget that a company’s success relies on the satisfaction of its customers,” said Farhang Niroomand, dean of the UHV School of Business Administration. “This is a good opportunity for small business owners and entrepreneurs in the Victoria area to refine their customer service skills.”

The UHV SBDC offers assistance on starting, growing and financing a business; contracting opportunities; and recovering from disaster. Most of its services are free to area small business owners in Aransas, Bee, Calhoun, DeWitt, Gonzales, Goliad, Jackson, Karnes, Lavaca, Refugio and Victoria counties. It is part of a nationwide small business assistance program serving the small business community and federal, state and local governments.

To register for the workshop, call 361-485-4485 or email sbdc@uhv.edu. The registration deadline is June 16.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to 70 bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree programs and concentrations in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.