Following the success of London 2012, and as National Customer Service Week highlights the importance of visitor welcome (1-7 October), the People 1st Training Company has developed the WorldHost Principles of Supervising Customer Service Performance programme to train management and supervisors in companies wishing to ensure a positive and lasting customer service legacy.

Prior to London hosting the Games, The People 1st Training Company worked with businesses and colleges across the UK to train tens of thousands of service sector staff, as well as ambassadors and volunteers for London 2012, using the existing WorldHost customer service programmes for front-line staff.

Building on this success, the WorldHost Principles of Supervising Customer Service Performance will give managers and supervisors the skills to create a long-lasting customer service culture within their teams.

The programme will teach them why their role is essential to delivering a great customer experience and give them techniques to motivate and coach team members. It will also explore actions to take when customer service goes wrong and how to monitor and measure a team’s customer service performance.

The need for a customer service training programme for managers was highlighted by research, led by sector skills council People 1st*, that found that they have a critical role in supporting and enabling front-line staff to deliver excellent customer service.

Factors like leading by example, educating staff on the value of customer service and coaching teams to improve their service performance were highlighted by visitor economy employers as particularly important to creating an outstanding customer experience.

Sharon Glancy, managing director of The People 1st Training Company, says, “The widespread enthusiasm and success of the Olympic volunteers shows the impact a co-ordinated and well-trained group of people can have on the reputation of an event, a business and even a whole country.

“Though front-line staff are at the coalface of customer relations, managers and supervisors are vital to providing and reinforcing a framework for a service that runs smoothly. If they understand the value of excellent customer service, and how to coach their team members to deliver it, not only will they maintain and improve service standards in their business – they’ll attract new customers too.”

WorldHost customer service training was originally developed in Canada – widely recognised as the global leader for customer service – and was used to train 40,000 staff and volunteers for the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010. Adapted for use in the UK by the People 1st Training Company, the programme was designed to help businesses make the most of the commercial benefits of being the host country of the 2012 Games and beyond.

The training was awarded the London 2012 Inspire Mark as recognition of the programme’s objective in supporting the skills legacy of the Olympics. In addition, the 70,000 ‘Games Makers’ received comprehensive training from LOCOG**, with support from McDonald’s, which used content from the WorldHost Principles of Customer Service training programme.

Any business that trains over 50 percent of its front-line staff using WorldHost programmes can also apply to become a WorldHost Recognised Business – a badge of customer service excellence that can be used to promote its commitment to delivering a great experience.