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Optivation offers IMPACT 20/20 training program on customer service

BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sept. 2, 2011) — Starting Sept. 14, Bemidji State University’s Optivation venture is offering a three-day course on customer service under a grant provided by IMPACT 20/20.

IMPACT 20/20 is a collaborative effort between Bemidji State University, Northland Community and Technical College, Northwest Technical College, the University of North Dakota and the University of Minnesota Crookston to bring world-class training offerings to northwest Minnesota.

“Customer service” is the first of two courses offered this fall. It is offered in three-hour blocks over three consecutive Wednesdays, beginning Sept. 14. The sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to noon each day in Bridgeman Hall 204 on the Bemidji State campus.

The first unit on Sept. 14 will focus on best practices in building customer relationships. Topics will include establishing a vision for customer relationship building, presenting information, effective language and concluding interactions.

The second unit on Sept. 21 focuses on developing a professional image, in environment, culture and appearance, and professionalism when communicating with customers via email, on the telephone and by using social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook.

The third unit on Sept. 28 offers strategies for dealing with difficult and diverse customers. The course will provide rationale for why businesses need to manage difficult customers, reasons why customers complain, how to handle complains and understanding what dissatisfied customers really want.

Supported by grant funding available through the IMPACT 20/20 initiative, the complete three-part course is being offered for $75. Space is limited, so early registration is encouraged. The course is offered only as a three-part series; individual enrollment for the three units is not available.

For more information about Optivation, visit or call (218) 755-4900. A complete list of upcoming courses at Optivation is available on its website at

More information
Registration form (PDF download)

About Optivation
Optivation is designed to increase collaboration between Bemidji’s higher education providers and the business and technology sectors of the northwest Minnesota region. Staffed by veteran business and entrepreneurial professionals, Optivation delivers targeted training and education systems to help organizations succeed in a changing world. Through its affiliations with Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College, Optivation is able to tap into an unparalleled network of people and technology across the state of Minnesota. Optivation is part of Bemidji State University’s Institute of Technology, Entrepreneurship and Innovation and is operated jointly by BSU and NTC.
For more information, visit

About IMPACT 20/20
IMPACT 20/20 is a group of senior executives and elected officials who came together in the fall of 2008 to explore the possibility of developing a collective action plan for the economy of Northwest Minnesota. Participants included seven business people from the region, three higher education leaders, two tribal chairs, two utility cooperative officers, two healthcare institution presidents, two directors of economic development commissions, two directors of workforce development organizations, one school superintendent, one director of a K-12 service cooperative, one president of a foundation and one state commissioner.

About Bemidji State University Bemidji State University, located in northern Minnesota’s lake district, occupies a wooded campus along the shore of Lake Bemidji. Enrolling more than 5,000 students, the University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and nine graduate programs encompassing arts, sciences and select professional programs. The University is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and has a faculty and staff of more than 550. University signature themes include environmental stewardship, civic engagement and global and multi-cultural understanding. For further information about the University, visit Become a fan of Bemidji State University on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.