March 25, 2015 Edition

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Jessie Midgett (from left), Becky Linebaugh and Sue Whitmire were among those who attended the Welcome to Arkansas First Impressions hospitality training hosted by the Chamber of Commerce last week at The Venue in downtown Walnut Ridge.
TD Photo ~ Gretchen Hunt

Chamber hosts hospitality training

Gretchen Hunt
Editor

More than 40 were in attendance on March 18 to hear a presentation on making a good first impression for both one's business and one's community.

Jessica Ledbetter with Welcome to Arkansas presented the free hospitality training, which was hosted by the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce at The Venue in downtown Walnut Ridge.

The event began with attendees having an opportunity to share what they like and dislike as a customer and to reflect on the service that they provide and whether it meets and exceeds expectations.

"You want to exceed expectations," Ledbetter said. "That makes repeat customers and repeat customers is what you want."

She also stressed the importance of making your customer feel like a guest, and most importantly a wanted guest.

"You should always use the three 'S's," she said. "See ~ make eye contact; smile ~ it let's them know you are happy they are there; and speak ~ this is just another way of welcoming them."

The training covered serving specific guests such as those with disabilities, children and international guests. Other topics included body language, giving directions, leaving personal business at home, assisting more than one customer at once, addressing angry guests, telephone and email etiquette and having a positive attitude.

For tips on these and other topics visit www.arhospitalitytips.com.

Ledbetter concluded the session by explaining the importance of being able to refer guests in one's business to other things to do in the community.

"Don't send them down the road," she said. "Be familiar with what is available in your community."

She shared a handout on attractions including Beatles Park, the Clover Bend Historical Site, The Guitar Walk at Cavenaugh Park, Lake Charles State Park, the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives, Powhatan Historic State Park, Stewart Park and Wings of Honor Museum.

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