The Chamber recently hosted the Business Awards program at the Faribault Country Club (by the way the club was awesome – food, service, hospitality all top notch) and I want give the Daily News a shout for the coverage of our three Business of the Year finalists before the event. The interest and attendance for the event swelled a bit and I’m sure that was one of the reasons - so Thanks!
One of our award categories is Customer Service. Due to a tight lunchtime schedule we didn’t give microphone time to these 5 winners and in retrospect I feel bad. We’re having some fun right now catching up with those winners in their workplaces and recording some short videos so that they can share the wisdom and practices of customer service. I must admit that you can literally feel the pride from these business owners in their stories about why customers love them. It’s heart warming and inspiring to hear what they have to say about how they’ve adopted the culture of excellent customer service.
I had the pleasure to join Casie on two of our recording sessions with Joe Donahue at Ace Hardware and Jeremy Chavis at Faribault Vacuum and Sewing. Both men attributed their inspiration for serving customers to their family predecessors in business and I felt the passion they inherited as they described the importance of taking care of their customers.
Our other Customer Service winners will be recording soon and I expect that we’ll hear (and feel) what inspires Suz Klumb at Glass Garden Beads, the entire team at Reliance Bank and Nancy Jensen at Richie Eye Clinic. Keep up the great work and look for a Customer Service Training session from your Chamber of Commerce later this year. We’ll share these businesses’ recipes for Customer Service Secret Sauce and more.
Coverage of Faribault Public Schools and recent needed budget cuts is certainly a mixed bag of good and bad thoughts. To be sure, the pain of making hard decisions of where to balance a budget is felt by most of us in our personal and professional lives at some point. The stakes vary from which kind of mac & cheese can I afford this week to who do we have to cut from the payroll. The issue is simple and nearly identical in nature – spending needs to be less than or equal to funds available. I want to thank the School Board and Administration for doing the hard work of staying on track. None of us envy the tasks you have managed for us.
On a very high note we want to publicly thank the same group for their forward thinking and positive action in taking on the bold issue of bringing back the 7-period day to our High School. I know the naysayers will come out against this issue because they’ll feel the need to provide a counterpoint. I’ll start the positive side with this comparison for public discussion. My grades 9 – 12 experience in Faribault High with a seven period day provided for 8 more opportunities to take electives. I understand there are also 3 more required classes now versus my time which makes 11 fewer opportunities for electives. 11 (eleven) fewer chances for a language class, shop class, ag class, home economics, music, career exploration and others. That’s compelling and we must support a remedy if we truly want our students to learn and explore opportunities to find their personal path to success.
Our Customer Service in Business winners exemplify the benefits of learning to be successful. Not every student has that opportunity to pick up those skills outside of the classroom. Public education gives EVERY student the opportunity to find their passion and path to success. Let’s make sure they have the time in their school day to do just that.