Olympics customer service training programme gathers support

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Customer service, Olympic games, Uk

WorldHost aims to raise the standard of hospitality service by the 2012 London Olympics
WorldHost aims to raise the standard of hospitality service by the 2012 London Olympics
UK sporting venues such as Twickenham Stadium and Royal Ascot have signed up for a customer service programme introduced last year by People 1st to train hospitality staff ahead of the Olympics.

Other major venues and events that are supporting the WorldHost programme include the London Eye, Warwick Castle, Epsom Downs Racecourse, Ricoh Arena and the British Open.

Launched in November last year,​ the campaign aims to train 200,000 hospitality and tourism staff in time for the 2012 Olympics with the goal of raising the country’s overall customer service standards.

Lacking welcome

Results from last year’s Nation Brand Index (NBI) survey of 20,000 adults worldwide found that although Britain was the fourth most admired country by global tourists​, it only came 13th for its hospitality scores.

“We plan to do something about what everyone recognises is a real need,” said Brian Wisdom, CEO of the hospitality sector skills council People 1st.

“The HLTT (hospitality, leisure, tourism and travel) sector is one of the UK’s largest employers and the ‘visitor economy’ contributes over 8 per cent of GDP. If we reach our target of 200,000 it will make a real difference to the experience people have as well as the revenue generated.”

Repeat business

According to recent research conducted by People 1st, 68 per cent of businesses in the UK which implemented customer service training said generating repeat business was a key benefit while 18 percent said they saw increased sales.

WorldHost has already been successfully used at the Vancouver Winter Olympics to train 39,000 staff and volunteers earlier this year. People 1st developed the programme for the UK market, with the support of VisitEngland and the backing of the Institute of Directors.

Miles Templeman, director general of the Institute of Directors, said: “The Olympics offer an outstanding opportunity for the UK. From an economic perspective, many businesses in the UK will profit and we want to make sure that SMEs get just as many opportunities to benefit as larger businesses.

“It also offers the UK the opportunity to advance its reputation and show the world what a great country we are. To make sure Britain is at its best, the standard of our customer service needs attention. It is imperative for businesses to invest in the people who will be on the front line, hosting our visitors and acting as ambassadors for the rest of the country.”

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1 comment

WordHost Training

Posted by Graham Perch,

WorldHost Customer Service Training addresses a number of key skills that many service sector businesses will need to better understand when dealing with customers from across different cultures and with a number of disabilities. The WorldHost programme opens discussions on how the staff can better service the needs of their customers. The programme creates learning experiences that allow the staff to empathise with their customers. Once a sense of empathy is understood the staff are better placed to work with the customers to enhance the customer experience. 1st4training is able to deliver this specialist quatlity training to service sector businesses and organisations UK wide.

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