The Caloundra Chamber of Commerce have launched a professional development program designed to help local businesses deliver a memorable experience for Caloundra visitors and local customers alike.
This project was first given life by the Stockland Aura Community Grants program and has since received support from Sunshine Coast Council grants program and Visit Sunshine Coast.
It is based on the “Welcome to…” program, an initiative of Tourism Noosa and has been running in the Noosa Shire Council area since 2013.
Proudly developed by Caloundra Tourism and the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce, the program is aimed at revitalising the quality service culture in the Caloundra region through an online training program focused on customer service and Caloundra specific content.
Caloundra Chamber of Commerce President, Michael Shadforth, believes that the Welcome to Caloundra course will give the region a real competitive advantage when it comes to first impressions.
“If you are a local business owner or operator, or are seeking employment in the region, the Welcome to Caloundra program will provide you with knowledge of Caloundra that will give businesses and individuals a competitive edge and will ultimately assist you in delivering a greater level of service,” Mr Shadforth said.
The learning platform provides basic information about Caloundra– who Caloundra is, why our region is special, the history of Caloundra, key things to do in the region and information on the unique places that make up the Caloundra region.
The project provides information to businesses about who our customers are, where they come from, some customer service strategies and information on workplace health and safety.
The program is open to business owners, staff, and individuals. Geographically it will cover the areas of Caloundra to Lake Kawana and west to the edge of the Hinterland.
Students in secondary and tertiary study can also participate and gain valuable knowledge to enhance their skills and employability.
Passionate Caloundra local and Deputy Mayor Tim Dwyer has thrown his support behind the project and believes that it is a great initiative which will have a positive effect on the region.
“The program will unite the community through the power of local content and the shared belief in quality service.” Cr Dwyer said.
“It will grow an army of Caloundra supporters and ambassadors who will share their excitement for the local area with others inside and outside of the region, which in turn will benefit local business.
I would encourage locals whether they're long term or recent arrivals to embrace this Chamber program, they might be surprised by what they learn.”
The Welcome to Caloundra program is about providing a consistent, high quality experience that anticipates visitors’ and customers’ needs, meets or exceeds their expectations and leaves them feeling positive that Caloundra is a very special place.
Recognising the programs efficacy as a valuable tool for tourism, Visit Sunshine Coast CEO, Simon Latchford, appreciates the flow-on benefits of improving the knowledge and customer service skills of frontline staff.
“Welcome to Caloundra is a tool which enables the destination to build a network of trained ambassadors who are knowledgeable about Caloundra and are committed to providing excellent customer service to ensure customers have a remarkable destination experience which encourages them to return.” Mr Latchford said.
Welcome to Caloundra Ambassador Kim McCosker from 4 Ingredients, is delighted to be part of this project and leads the way in upholding the values of the program in the community.
“Customer Service is critical in business these days, and often it is the very thing that influences buying decisions,” Kim said.
“Providing great customer service to everyone, is something 4 Ingredients prides itself upon.
“Satisfied customers often become loyal, repeat customers and indeed brand ambassadors, and are extremely valuable business assets.
“I would encourage our business community to jump on board and complete the Welcome to Caloundra program as soon as you can.”
The program has been designed to be completed via an easy to follow 90-minute interactive e-learning course, aimed at Kawana and Caloundra businesses.
There is a multiple-choice assessment for each module.
Upon completion participants will be able to download a certificate of completion, badge and sticker which will be issued through Caloundra Chamber of Commerce.
To sign up visit www.welcometocaloundra.com.au