The Customer Service – “Closing the deal” – workshop for small business owners, was held on April 16, 2014, by Upper Albany Main Street, at 1382 Albany Ave., Hartford, CT 06112. The focus was to develop participants’ skills and practices that offer exceptional customer care and services, and also to empower participants to provide effective solutions to customer service problems as they may arise. By the end of the workshop, participants were able to adopt a consistent and professional demeanor when speaking with customers; develop skills in effectively engaging with customers and handling their inquiries; listen effectively, ask questions and summarize the issues so as to fully respond to customer requests; identify ways to add value to customer relationships and exceed expectations. Participants also practiced how to convert customer service disappointments into positive experiences. In today’s customer-oriented business environment, “people skills” are critical to achieve personal and organizational success. Depending on how a business owner handles his/her customers, it can directly affect their individual goals as well as the performance of their team and company. Merchants were engaged in active listening, summarizing and conducting practical exercises in pairs within a group discussion. In order to keep their businesses viable the owners must have the knowledge of what their customers expect, to deliver a better, faster service and increase customer satisfaction. The next workshop will be held on Wednesday June 18,2014.