Learning service with a smile

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 2, 2004

In the service industry, the right attitude can make all the difference.

Bob Kelley, owner of the Tally Ho Restaurant and Consulting, knows the difference between a happy customer and an unhappy one can be the service.

To help other businesses in Selma gain from his 25 years of experience, Kelley and Wallace Community College Selma is offering a six-week course in Customer Service and Career Training.

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“I think the community wants to have a program like this, but it’s not easy to put across,” Kelley said. “A lot of folks that would like to take it are working already.”

The class will teach students how to present a positive attitude, how to read customer needs and how to fulfill those needs.

“All the things about attitude and a smile and all the things that make you want to come back to a place,” Kelley said.

The format will include exercises, quizzes and case studies to reinforce the skills that make every employee aware of the importance of customer service.

“It’s something I’ve really gotten excited about,” Kelley said. “I’ve got the program lined out for the six week course.

There’s a lot of good support behind it.”

Paula Thompson, director of adult education and skills training at Wallace, said the students will receive a certificate of training.

“These graduates will then enter or return to the work force with the ability to provide outstanding service to the customers in our community,” Thompson said in a release.

Though Kelley hasn’t instructed a course before, he said that starting 25 new restaurants has prepared him for the class.

“Every time I open a new restaurant, I’ve trained up to 200 employees, training is something I do,” he said. “I have two brothers and a sister that our teachers so I’ve got good resources.”

The class starts on Jan. 11 and will meet every Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m.-11a.m. at Wallace Community College Selma Room LG-3. The cost is $400.

For more information call 816-9370 or email Kelley at