Working in conjunction with Chesapeake College, Easton Utilities held a course for ten employees titled Spanish for Requesting Personal Information and Data. “The curriculum is customized for Easton Utilities’ employees and is aimed at preparing students [employees] to provide basic Spanish interactions for our customers’ needs,” said Tracie A. Thomas, Director of Customer Service for Easton Utilities.
Anderson Watson, a bi-lingual Customer Service Representative for Easton Utilities and a part-time employee of Chesapeake College, was the instructor. He led the class through progressively difficult conversations targeted to billing, services, and installation needs for cable TV and internet. Team members from a variety of departments and positions within Easton Utilities took the course over a three-week period totaling 12 hours. Leah Copper, Samantha Jeter, Jeremy Newnam, Claire Robertson, Christian Smith, Paula Taylor, Tracie Thomas, Micki Thompson, Mary Wheeler, and John Wooters completed the course and graduated from the ‘Spanish 101’ class.
Chesapeake College was instrumental in providing the curriculum and developing the customized course. “The Spanish-speaking community is growing in our region and we are proud to offer a variety of courses to help our local businesses strengthen how they communicate with this population,” said Lois B. Thomas, Director of Personal Enrichment and Lifelong Learning for Chesapeake College. “It comes as no surprise Easton Utilities would take the lead in such an endeavor to demonstrate their commitment to exceptional customer service.”
Offering the Spanish course is just one of the significant initiatives accomplished by a committee formed at Easton Utilities to better serve Non-English speaking customers. In addition to the course, which will be offered to other groups of employees going forward, the committee has implemented a phone interpretation service, translated a variety of communications including the website, and fulfilled a strategic initiative in hiring Watson as a bilingual representative. “It is important to us to provide quality service to each and every customer and this course will enable us to better fulfill this promise,” added Thomas.