By Steve Koehler
Customer service is a top priority for any business and in Branson, businesses there are stressing it through specialized training offered by Ozarks Technical Community College’s Center for Workforce Development.
The Ozark Mountain Service Academy offers businesses in the Branson area an opportunity to train its management and staff in ways to improve customer service.
Lynda Doepker, Business Development Manager for the workforce center, said Branson business and community leaders formed the Employment Catalyst Group to help businesses become more successful. It determined that customer service training was needed and the academy was formed.
Doepker said the customer service programs are not restricted to Branson. Any business in the region can contact the workforce center about training its employees on-site or at an OTC location including Lebanon, Waynesville, Springfield or at the Richwood Valley campus.
The Branson-based academy offers training in creating a service culture, conflict resolution, dealing with difficult customers and prioritizing decisions. The program is offered both on-site and at the College’s Branson Education Center in the Branson Meadows Shopping Center.
Craig Wescott, owner and vice president of The Track Family Fun Parks and a member of the catalyst group, put his 20 supervisors/managers through the training.
He employs about 250 seasonal workers and hopes to put his entire frontline staff through the training, too.
“We want to create a consistent level of service. This training helped us to keep focus on that as we started our busiest season. We want everyone on the same page when it came to dealing with guests. They are the ones writing our paychecks,” said Wescott.
OTC was a natural choice as a partner to what the businesses were trying to do in Branson, Wescott said, because it offered facilities and expertise.
“We were trying to figure out logistics, where to hold the classes and where we would find classroom space. OTC can be very flexible. You can use their facility or your own. They’ve been a great partner. The center fits right in with an area like Branson,” he said.
Steve Koehler is coordinator of publications at Ozarks Technical Community College.
College Director of Communication
Coordinator of Public Information