Tourism businesses who continue to invest in training during a recession are more likely to survive the downturn and thrive in the eventual recovery. Despite this, many businesses tend to cut the training budget first in an economic slowdown, when it is more important than ever to have a competent and skilled workforce.
Training your staff will increase their loyalty to your company, helping your business to thrive through increased productivity and improved customer service - ensuring that you stay ahead of your competitors.
Investing in training can:
In a recession tourism consumers will seek out businesses not compromising on quality. Satisfied customers are less price sensitive and will recommend you to others.
Some businesses in the South West are heeding this message and during 2008/09 South West Tourism saw an increase in delegate numbers attending Welcome to Excellence customer service courses, against a 2% decrease in participation overall nationally.
Over recent months we have seen a trend in medium sized businesses investing in training in the run up to the summer. One such leading business is Paignton Zoo, who run the Welcome Host customer service course annually as part of their staff induction programme.
Chris Wreford-Brown, Finance and HR Director of Paignton Zoo says:
"We are investing in training to arm ourselves as strongly as possible for the coming months and indeed years - we want visitors to really enjoy the experience so that they are loyal and come again...either locals or those on holiday. Well trained staff is key to increasing levels of repeat visits and word of mouth recommendations - which in turn allows you to trim marketing costs as you're not constantly seeking new customers."
Another business to see the benefit in investing in customer service training is Cotswold Inns and Hotels Ltd, who have made extensive use of Welcome to Excellence training since the company was formed nine years ago.
Heather Hass, who organises the training, says:
‘We have always been impressed by the quality of the trainers. They have hands on experience of the hotel business and so their approach is always down to earth and engaging. After they have completed a course, our staff wear the ‘Welcome Host' badge and this sends out a positive message to guests."
Jonel Krige, who is originally from South Africa and works as a receptionist at The Lamb at Burford, says:
"Welcome to Excellence was absolutely fantastic. It reminded me why I am in the tourism industry! I have been working in hotels for six years and after a while, it can be easy to just see it as a job that you get up and do - sometimes you forget that the reason you are here is for the guests. Welcome to Excellence refreshed the way I see my role."
An effective way to raise quality within your business is to raise the level of service of your staff. Engage them in your business, make them feel involved and it will improve morale and motivate them to deliver excellent service.
South West Tourism can provide a range of 1-day Welcome to Excellence customer service training programmes through a variety of delivery methods.
With places on an open course from £80+VAT per member of staff and in-house training for groups of up to 20 from £800+VAT Welcome to Excellence provides an excellent cost effective training solution for your business.
Contact Helen Jones for course dates and further details on 01392 353240
Date added: Monday 27th July 2009
Latest updated: Thursday 2nd May 2013