Ask Me!  Hospitality Training

Tourism in Pike County is a $25 Million industry.  Thousands of tourists visit Pike County each year, with many of them coming in the fall for hunting and for our Fall Color Drive.  Whether someone is traveling for business or pleasure, the level of customer service he or she receives on her trip will help determine whether they come back.  Travelers, after all, have lots of options when they leave home.  Today’s travelers, particularly those on vacation trips, want memories they can look back on and smile. 

When it comes to the people they meet on the front line, the staff from our local businesses, travelers expect them to be courteous, helpful and friendly.  They also want staff members to be knowledgeable about the area and its attractions.  They demand great service.  As a result, the folks on the front lines of our local businesses, agencies and organizations must stand ready to meet customer needs.

The Pike County Chamber and the University of Illinois Extension will offer a Hospitality Training program called “Ask Me!, which is designed to help people see the importance of delivering excellent customer service for their individual development as well as the success of their business and our entire community.  The program will also equip these front line people with resources to educate them regarding all of the great amenities Pike County has to offer and help them promote the county to our visitors.

Ask me against black

The Ask Me! program has several elements.  The first is a focus on improving customer service skills, presented by Shelby Crow from the University of Illinois Extension.  The Chamber has partnered with Shelby several times in the past.  The second element is providing the attendees resources to educate them about all of the things to see and do in Pike County and equipping them to promote these amenities when they return to their places of employment.  The final element is follow-up. We are implementing a "Secret Shopper" evaluation (which we are calling a secret visitor) to visit the businesses that have participated so see how the program is working.  We will share the results and celebrate success!

Below you will find several documents:

The Ask Me! Program Flyer, which gives the basics of the training can be found here.
Ask Me! "secret visitor" assessment form 

The “Ask Me!” program was first offered several times during September, 2015.   

In addition, the Chamber is prepared to take the program directly to area employers if it fits their needs better, at staff meetings, for example.

Registrations for the sessions at the Community Center are requested to ensure adequate handouts.  Contact Kaye Iftner (217-285-2971 or info@pikeil.org)

To arrange a presentation on your site, contact Kaye.