September 2010, Volume 14, Number 4

Academics

Center for Service Excellence thrives with partnerships

Professional training
Service Excellence

If one person can have an impact on a customer’s experience, imagine the difference 9,000 can make. That’s how many people the Center for Service Excellence (CSE) at MDC has trained since its launch in October 2008, and it shows no signs of slowing down. This summer, the CSE wrapped up training for employees at the Port of Miami and the City of Hialeah, and it’s preparing to start training the Miami Downtown Development Authority.

The CSE has provided innovative customer service training for organizations in the public and private sectors in the hospitality and health care industries. Recently, through a partnership with the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau’s “Miami Begins with Me” campaign, the faculty at the CSE trained employees at Miami International Airport.

“Behind everything in this ‘Miami Begins with Me’ campaign is essentially the idea that every individual represents Miami, especially to visitors who come from abroad,” said John Lopategui, CSE program development leader. “We are training staff in the two main entranceways of Miami, which are the airport and the port.”

For two months, Port employees were trained during 20 two-hour sessions that focused on the principles of service, communicating service excellence and how to deal with challenges effectively. CSE worked with employees from a variety of departments, from security to information technology, in blended sessions that emphasized team-building and the individual’s role in a service experience.

The City of Hialeah’s Water and Sewer Department came to CSE last spring with the goal of improving their customer service and working on elements of team-building for their 60--person staff. CSE designed customized training programs to suit their needs, just as it does with all organizations that come to them.

“We want our training programs to have a lasting effect,” Lopategui said. “It’s not like we pull a program off the shelf and deliver it. We make it for them.”

— NM


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