Voice: Work is needed, but there is good customer service in Imperial Valley

September 08, 2001

Over the last couple of weeks I have read letters in this column directed at the quality of service in Imperial Valley. Yes, there are employees who do not exemplify high standards of service and it is important that businesses become aware of the problem so that corrective action can be taken.

However, long-term behavior change will not occur with criticism. Instead, we must recognize those employees who in fact are examples of good quality of service.

A couple years ago the El Centro Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau began a program to recognize employees who consistently provide good service. Employees from such businesses as Brunner's, Brooks Jewelry, Vons, Sizzler, American Cancer Society, El Centro Regional Medical Center, Centennial Wireless and Jacques 'n Jills Health Club have been recipients of the chamber's STAR Award.

Employees are chosen by the chamber's membership committee based on appearance and appropriate dress for job; immediate acknowledgment of customer upon arrival; greeting customers with a smile; commitment to prompt customer service; provides undivided attention while servicing customers; is a team player within organization and treats customer with respect and dignity at all times. Anyone is eligible to receive the STAR Award and nominations are accepted through the chamber's office.


The chamber has also partnered with Manpower Temporary Service to provide a four-session program focused on quality of service for business owners and employees. To date, close to 100 individuals have taken the training.

Changing the culture of a business takes dedication and continuous positive reinforcement. It's apparent that we still have work ahead of us to establish a high standard of service within every business in the Imperial Valley. However, with everyone's help, I know it can be done.

So the next time YOU are in a local business and an employee gives you good service, thank them. I know they and their employer will truly be grateful.



El Centro Chamber of

Commerce & Visitors Bureau

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