Training program enhances the visitor experience
Earlier this year, our region hosted football’s biggest game at an outdoor, cold-weather stadium for the first time ever—but guests to the Meadowlands were offered a warm welcome by over 3,000 local employees in the tourism industry who were trained and certified by Excellence in Visitor Experience.
The Meadowlands Regional Chamber (MRC), the Meadowlands Liberty Convention & Visitors Bureau (MLCVB) and Bergen Community College’s Division of Continuing Education teamed up to create this comprehensive one-day hospitality training program for employees of Greater Meadowlands-based companies specializing in the retail, tourism, hospitality, sports, transportation and leisure industries.
The program is still available to people in the area so please visit www.bergen.edu if you are interested in enrolling.
Excellence in Visitor Experience, A Warm Welcome, prepares employees for the influx of tourism brought in by major events like the Big Game, Formula 1, Special Olympics and more. People who complete the program receive the Excellence in Visitor Experience Certification.
The program uses an interactive approach to draw participants into discussions that expand their knowledge and help them hone their customer service skills. Participants also gain knowledge of the many transportation assets related to points of interest in North Jersey and the surrounding area. The initial focal point is on the New Jersey Meadowlands region, but Excellence in Visitor Experience also will provide an overview of the historic, cultural, entertainment and shopping venues throughout northern New Jersey.
“From the moment the NFL announced the 2014 Big Game would be coming to the Meadowlands, our organization crafted a strategic list of goals and objectives for leveraging the event. One of the top initiatives was to focus on a structured customer service training program that would insure we would be great hosts to visitors, many of whom have never been here before,” said Jim Kirkos, CEO of the MRC. “This training program now extends beyond the Big Game so we can continue providing our guests a warm welcome and enhance the overall visitor experience.”
“Bergen’s Division of Continuing Education, Corporate and Public Sector Training has the depth of experience and the flexibility to provide comprehensive, specialized training that will enable our business partners in the Meadowlands to stand out in the services they provide,” said Bergen Community College President B. Kaye Walter. “This training will take place at Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands. However, the College can bring the program to employer locations.”
While the program addresses the needs of people employed by Meadowlands’ companies, the College, the MLCVB and the MRC expect it will interest individuals seeking employment in the hospitality industry.
Classes cost $45 per person and the College offers them on a single-day or two-evening schedule to accommodate people working various shifts. For more information about Excellence in Visitor Experience, please contact the College’s Division of Continuing Education at (201) 447-7488.
Course includes training on the following:
• Developing and Maintaining Great Customer Service
• Customer Service Operational Elements
• Customer Service Skills, Activities and Techniques
• Organizing for Service of a Service Model
• Communicating: Solving problems and dealing with difficult customers
• Transportation Resources
• Selling and Keeping People in New Jersey and the Meadowlands
• Shopping & Entertainment
• Night Life
• Museums & Historical Related Locations
• Food & Lodging