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Friday, November 02, 2007

Lebanon Daily News - Clients attest: Consultant counts!

Lebanon Daily News - Clients attest: Consultant counts!

After working 15 years in the hospitality industry, Mary Foltz decided to launch her own business, Service Counts!, to help businesses improve their customer service and formulate strategies.

Foltz’s goal is “trying to make and improve the level of service for consumers.”

She said she “recognized a need in Lebanon County for increasing levels of support” for businesses.

A native of Syracuse, N.Y., Foltz, 38, moved to this area when she landed a job with Olive Garden in Wyomissing in 1998. She later worked as an assistant food and beverage director for Sheraton Reading Hotel and then as staff-development manager for Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Co. from 2001 to 2006.

Foltz has also worked with Disney and Marriott Corp. She holds associate degrees in business administration and hotel technology.

Since starting Service Counts!, Foltz has worked with clients from as far away as New York but is trying to concentrate on businesses closer to Lebanon to decrease her travel. She works out of her Cleona home.

Foltz holds training sessions and workshops for management and employees. Sometimes, she serves as a mystery shopper to evaluate a retailer’s customer-service response.

Robert Weeks, general manager of Sheraton Reading Hotel, said Foltz helped facilitate a strategic planning session for his sales staff.

“She helped us develop a strengths and weaknesses assessment for us and our competition,” Weeks said in an e-mail. “This allowed us to have great discussion about selling to our strengths.

“We also brainstormed potential types of businesses where we could prospect for additional new business. We talked about effective ways to go about talking to potential customers,” he added.

Jim Bokosky, general manager of Four Points by Sheraton Hotel & Suites Allentown, asked Foltz to work with his facility’s front-line service staff “to help us get our brand-service scores back on track with national averages.”

Bokosky said in an e-mail that Foltz “has a professional, sincere and very upbeat personality that gives her the credibility and gains the trust of the audience she is working with. It is not easy for an ‘outsider’ to come into any organization and immediately gain the trust and respect of the people that have been doing their jobs one way for, in some cases, a very long time.”

Foltz was able to help Bokosky’s employees understand that “change is good,” he wrote. “The result of Mary’s service-training template was a very noticeable change in the attitude, morale and, most importantly, the positive results in our brand-service scores that we desperately needed.”

Weeks lauded Foltz’s preparation and diverse background.

“The perspective that she brings from working with other types of companies is refreshing and helps us look at issues differently than we might,” Weeks wrote.

Foltz is planning on launching a Web site soon.


Foltz can be reached by e-mail at:

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