MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- The Marine Corps Logistics Bases' Supply Chain Management Center has teamed with Albany Technical Institute to provide supply chain center employees with customer service training.
The 11-week course, formally known as Certified Customer Service Specialist Training, is designed to enhance and develop a variety of customer contact skills for the Corps' military and civilian workforce.
A dozen SCMC employees recently graduated from the training's pilot class and, according to one student, the class gave her a new lease on life.
"I haven't been to school in more than 35 years," said Linda DuBose, supply technician. "I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to take the course, and I am proud of how well I did by accomplishing it.
"The information will definitely help me in my daily work life and some lessons learned will even benefit my personal life," said DuBose.
Brenda Olds, head of SCMC's Customer Relationship Management Section and coordinator of the course, said the supply chain center managers wants all their employees trained in this area eventually, regardless of how long they've been away from the conventional school atmosphere.
"We want to have all our section members certified in customer service training," Olds said. "I was also a member of the first training class.
"This type training strengthens and enhances the experience and knowledge our employees already possess. The class is very structured, and I found it to be very much on target for what we were looking to accomplish," said Olds.
According to Olds, the training covered critical business skills such as managing change, time management, critical thinking, telephone service skills, managing the difficult customer, and more.
"Most importantly," Olds said, "the principle that the customer is always right was reinforced with each student.
"The class focuses on providing topnotch customer service and reiterates to employees to always strive to ensure customers get the answers they need in the timeliest manne," said Olds. "We, as a whole [class], agreed that Marines may be put in harm's way if we [individually] don't do provide the very best customer service we can."
Gary Frage`, the class instructor said his experience working with employees of SCMC was a very positive one and added that he was glad to help the base meet their training needs.
"Overall, this was a very good class," Frage` said. "I liken the course to a tool box filled with tools. Although many of the participants already had good customer service skills, we simply try to sharpen what [tools] they already have and provide additional tools if they're needed."
"This is an actual certification program run by the state of Georgia," added SCMC's Mike Lackey, supervisor for logistics management.
"Albany Tech had worked with some of the other industries here in town conducting similar classes, and we asked them if they would tailor the class for our unique requirements," said Lackey.
Lackey said before employees took the class they had to actually enroll in the Albany Technical Institute.
Accordingly, many base employees who have been away from school for a while realized the full benefits of attending an institution of higher learning.
"As Georgia residents, our people were also eligible for the HOPE grant," Lackey pointed out. "That meant our entire out-of-pocket expense for 13 people to go through the course was less than $200.
"What's more, Albany Tech was flexible enough to bring the course right here aboard the base," Lackey said.
With the success of the training's first class, certified customer service specialist classes here continue.
The second class is currently in mid-stream, with classes being held every Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Lackey and Olds said the goal is to have all SCMC employees certified.