The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local News

January 31, 2014

Workshop to help businesses become 'Texas Friendly'


Offering good customer service is a goal many businesses already offer, but now, Palestine businesses and its employees can be certified “Texas Friendly” — helping with local and regional tourism initiatives.

On Feb. 17, the Texas Forest Trail Region (TFTR), in partnership with the Palestine Economic Development Corp. and Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce, will offer a Texas Friendly Customer Service workshop for local businesses.

The workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ben E. Keith Hospitality Room, 2019 W. Oak St. in Palestine.

“This program is a great opportunity for Palestine businesses and employees to learn some very valuable tools to better serve their customers and clients,” Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marc Mitchell said. “These customer service skills learned in this program can be used from the frontline employee to the management staff.”

Texas Forest Trail Executive Director Marty Prince, a certified hospitality trainer, will teach participants about the fundamentals of customer service, opportunities for tourism development, and ways to make the Palestine area a tourist-friendly place. All participants will be “Texas Friendly” certified at the conclusion of day.

“Offering excellent customer service to your customers is the best and easiest advertising your business can do for itself,” Prince said. “This workshop will give employees the skills they need to keep customers coming back and bringing their friends.”

The second session will focus on Positively Palestine: a local initiative on destination training.

Attendees will be given the opportunity to network with one another, learn about happenings throughout the city and information about the history and culture of the area.

“Positively Palestine is an initiative to inspire community members and hospitality industry employees to become knowledgeable, trusted ambassadors for our visitors,” said Breezy Lake-Wolfe, marketing manager for the City of Palestine and TFTR president-elect. “When an employee knows the history of their community, the attractions and happenings, they have provided a positive experience that will entice visitors to stay longer and to keep coming back. Partnering with the Texas Forest Trail Region and using their resources is a vital key to us becoming a 'Texas Friendly' destination and to help spread the word about our great community.”

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