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Several RHS students are now certified in Guest Services, a course that focuses on training in personalized customer service.

RHS students become certified in service

Students enrolled in the Russellville High School Event Planning course recently completed a training course in customer service. Each of these students received a passing score on the training exam to receive a credential in Guest Services Gold: Golden Opportunities, offered by the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute.

This course focuses on training participants on how to provide personalized customer service through building personal relationships with their customers. Although the course uses specific examples from the hotel industry, the key elements of the course can be used in all industries, businesses and workplaces.

“Before teaching the course to my students, I too had to become certified,” said teacher Cindy Coan. “I will admit I was skeptical since my event planning course did not focus on the hotel industry, but after only a few minutes, I saw the real benefits this training could have to developing a qualified workforce for any industry.”

The No. 1 reason people don’t return to a business, Coan said, is that they are dissatisfied with the service they receive. Since word of mouth is a business’ best marketing tool, good customer service should be a top priority for any business, Coan explained.

“I’m excited that all of the students in my class passed the exam after taking the course. I think that’s a reflection of their interest in the course materials,” Coan added.

Through the course, students learn how to fix problems and turn them into positives. The course also explains how to make a customer feel valued.

“At Russellville City Schools, we want every student to graduate high school college- and career-ready,” Coan said. “Receiving the Guest Services credential will help students reach that standard.”

Coan said many of the students in the class are employed in the service industry and often shared stories in class about how they had used the information from the course in their present workplace to solve customer complaints and improve service standards.