Rend Lake College recently provided Guest Service Training to staff and administration at nearby Rend Lake Resort.
Resort Manager Jim Halpin said he hopes the staff of the resort, including personnel from lodging, Windows Restaurant and other areas throughout the organization, “will realize what an intricate part of the machine they are. I hope they’ll realize that everyone is equally important.”
The training was presented by Nealy Glenn, who discussed everything from the importance of the first customer contact to how to deal with impatient patrons, from how to handle multiple customers and phone calls to what not to say to clients.
Halpin said about 50 of his staff underwent the training, in which they learned the proper ways to treat people, how to better present themselves and how to perceive situations realistically.
“That first customer contact is everything. That customer is everything. Without them, we don’t exist,” Halpin said.
He said the resort staff has undergone similar training in the past, but the session organized by RLC was more in-depth.
“We’re hoping the new employees will learn these things from the current employees,” said Halpin. “If that happens, we’ll try to retrain in six months or a year to help them remember what is going on and what is important.”
Rosemary McFarland, head server and supervisor at Windows Restaurant, said the training she received will help her as a supervisor and she will try to pass it on to her staff.
“This validates me as a supervisor,” McFarland said. “It’s going to keep customer service fresh in my mind. Everybody goes stale and everybody needs a jump start.”
Penny Versteeg-Knifechif, Department Head of Housekeeping, said she learned more about how to diagnose and curtail anger management problems and maintain a much more positive attitude.