AA launches customer service training scheme for hotels

Hotels, bed and breakfasts and guest houses that want to improve their AA rating could benefit from a new customer service training programme being offered by the organisation.

Under the scheme, which is being run in partnership with the hospitality sector skills council People 1st, will see the AA Hotel Services team trained to deliver the WorldHost Principles of Customer Service programme.

They will then be able to offer the programme to AA Hotel Services members that have identified customer service as a key factor in improving their rating.

Simon Numphud, AA Hotel Services manager, commented: "Customer service is one of the key factors we consider when awarding our star ratings, and we feel that it is important to offer businesses support in this area where they could deliver improvements.

"In a difficult economic climate, businesses are having to compete even harder for customers’ attention and outstanding service can really set you apart."

Establishments could consider incorporating the new training programme into their hotel recruitment strategy to make sure new as well as experienced staff are delivering the highest standard of customer service.

WorldHost programmes have been used to train over a million people worldwide – including thousands of volunteers and local ambassadors at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

It was originally developed in Canada and has been adapted for the UK market by the People 1st Training Company.

The WorldHost Principles of Customer Service programme covers a number of different elements, including making a great first impression, using and remembering names, how to listen to customers effectively and communication techniques.

"Last summer's Olympics demonstrated what a fantastic impact offering a warm welcome can have on visitors – we want to build on this momentum [and] help businesses reap the benefits of providing a great service," said Sharon Glancy, managing director of the People 1st Training Company.

"We’re delighted that the AA has chosen WorldHost as its customer service training partner. Its licensed trainers will be able to help members who want to boost their welcome and rating [to] deliver real improvements."

Berkeley Scott is a specialist recruitment agency providing hotel management solutions