SDSU Community Vitality Team: Connecting & Providing Services to Area Businesses Back »

Written collaboratively by Peggy Schlechter and Paul Thares.

Connection Made: Southwest Grain - Lemmon, SD

Paul Thares (SDSU Community Vitality Field Specialist) recently participated in a Business Retention & Expansion class. As a “homework” assignment, he was required to schedule and hold a practice business visit. The business Paul chose to contact was Southwest Grain, located in Lemmon, SD. As a part of the business visit, a 35-question survey is used to gather specific information and data about the business. The survey also helps to identify issues that may be addressed sooner than later; some may call these “red flag” issues.

After the business visit, Thares reviewed the information on the survey and identified a couple of areas of need: customer service training and conflict resolution. Paul made the follow up call to the business and through discussion with Ben Hetzel, Manager of Southwest Grain, arranged for the necessary training to take place.


Service Provided: Custom Employee Training Program

Paul contacted Peggy Schlechter (SDSU Community Vitality Field Specialist) and explained the “red flag” issues from his business visit with Ben Hetzel. Through follow up with Ben, Peggy customized a training program for the employees of Southwest Grain.

In mid-December 2017, Schlechter and Thares facilitated “Secrets of Service: Improving Customer Satisfaction” for nearly 40 employees of Southwest Grain at the Lemmon, SD location. Employees participated in a personality inventory and developed strategies to improve customer satisfaction in the areas of teamwork, consistency, personal service and attitude. They connected the importance of service to Southwest Grain by learning about the Service-Profit Chain and identified how customer service fit into the vision and mission of Southwest Grain. As a result, 91% of the participants said that they set some personal goals about improving the level of customer service that they provide; 100% of the participants said that they identified strategies to improve the level of service offered at Southwest Grain and that the workshop was worth their time and 94% of the participants said that they had fun.


Training Available: Contact SDSU Extension Today!

The SDSU Extension Community Vitality Team was able to make a connection with a business and assist them with achieving their desired outcome. If you would like more information about how the community vitality team can help your community or a business within your community, please contact Peggy Schlechter or Paul Thares.

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